ON MARCH 19th 2018 the Ministry of Energy opened the second call for proposals for the grant scheme “I Save I Upgrade” for existing homes belonging to individuals residing permanently in the Republic of Cyprus and with a Planning permit application before 21/12/2007.
The scheme which is part of the 2014-2020 Business Plan “Competitiveness and Sustainable Development”, is co-funded by the Cyprus Government and the EU and the amount available is €8 million. It aims to increase energy savings, it covers the purchase and installation of new equipment and materials and it concerns large scale energy upgrades with packaged measures that meet certain energy performance conditions (at least 50% energy savings and a new Energy Performance Certificate of minimum rating B). The available grant per case is 50% of the cost (75% for vulnerable groups) with a €15,000 limit (€10,000 for apartments). For proposals for an upgrade to a “near zero energy level” the grant could reach €25K for houses and €20K for apartment units. Vulnerable groups can also receive a maximum grant of €2,500 for individual upgrade measures.
After 2020 in Cyprus all new buildings will have to qualify as “near zero energy buildings”. “Near zero energy” is reference to a building with noticeably better living and working conditions, with a very high energy performance and net energy consumption near zero, i.e. the energy used annually by the building is equal to the renewable energy produced on site. At the moment the minimum required energy rating for new buildings in Cyprus is B.
The subsidised categories include the cost of the accredited expert, the insulation of the vertical and horizontal building components, the installation of new doors and windows, shading systems, solar hot water systems, solar/geothermal for cooling and heating, split a/c units, heat pumps, heating boiler replacement. The Ministry can set a maximum allowed subsidy amount for each selected category.
The application period opens on April 16th and it closes as soon as the funds run out. According to the official announcement the potential applicants before they file an application are required to choose an accredited/qualified expert who will carry out the required analysis. The grant is given to the home owner after the works are completed and approved by the Ministry’s officials.
The application period for the first €8 million of the scheme which ended nearly two years ago was relatively short and based on the market demand which still remains high, the amount turned out to insufficient.
Investing in high energy performance and renewable energy is investing in a greener tomorrow and in a higher quality of life. EU and national energy efficiency target levels can only be achieved with more similar schemes and other financial incentives.
About the author
Xenios Chr. Sofianos
SKYY Consulting Limited
Member of the Cyprus Scientific and Technical Chamber (E.T.E.K.)
Accredited Expert for Building EPC’s (Energy Performance Certificates for residential and commercial properties – energy performance assessor).
Member of the Cyprus Association of Civil Engineers.
Evaluator of the Grant Scheme for the Encouragement of Business Innovation.