Homeowner unions want more state support for energy-efficient renovation

Apartment building.
Apartment building.

Homeowner unions are calling on the government to allocate more funding for energy-efficient home renovations and believes demand outstrips supply.

This year approximately €3.7 million in funding will be allocated to KredEx for support measures, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications said. Applications will open in March.

Chairman of the Board of the Estonian Central Union of Home Owners Priidu Pärna told ERR the amount could be 10 times higher.

He said many people understand making their homes energy efficient will help to combat energy prices, so there is a lot of interest. Additionally, construction prices have risen so people are keen to apply for funding.

Pärna said €3.3 million was used in 2020 to partially renovate 374 homes which included tasks such as installing solar panels or upgrading heating systems.

"Today, where construction prices have increased significantly and people's interest is many times higher, then this €3.7 million is definitely helpful, but it does not solve the problem," said Pärna.

He said since 2016, approximately 800 small dwelling buildings have received support, however, there are 200,000 across Estonia. He estimates half are waiting to be renovated.

The chairman said the state often prefers to renovate big apartment blocks rather than smaller dwellings.

Member of the board of Estonian Apartment Associations Urmas Mardi said the EU could also allocate more funding for home renovation.

He said there is a high level of interest in making homes more energy-efficient in Estonia as less than 10 percent of apartment buildings meet modern insulation standards.

"Most of our apartment buildings were built during the Soviet era. Then the materials were different and energy efficiency was not considered as important as it is today," he told ERR.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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