The Estonian Business and Innovation Agency will begin accepting applications next month for a measure aimed at supporting the renovation or replacement of outdated and inefficient residential heat sources in areas with higher levels of air pollution.
Residents in qualifying areas can seek support, being offered by the agency via its Kredex brand, for replacing an old masonry heater with either a new, less polluting one or with a heat pump, but also for replacing an old boiler with either a new one or a heat pump, the Ministry of Climate announced Monday.
Homes can also seek support for joining their local district heating network.
"Although Estonia has clean air compared to many other countries in the world, studies show that it's local heating in cities in particular that is one of the major causes of air pollution during the heating season," Minister of Climate Kristen Michal (Reform) said.
"By supporting the construction of a new masonry heater to replace an old one or the transition to a more environmentally friendly heating method, the Ministry of Climate will help people make choices that improve air quality, with the additional bonuses of improved fire safety and energy efficiency," he added.
Parts of the country in Estonia with fine particulate matter in excess of permitted levels in the air during the heating period have been identified based on outdoor air monitoring data.
Areas eligible for 70 percent support include Jõhvi, Kiviõli and Sillamäe in Ida-Viru County, Jõgeva and Põltsamaa in Jõgeva County, and Valga, Otepää and Tõrva in Valga County.
Eligible for 50 percent support are the Tallinn city districts of Pirita, Nõmme, City Center, Kristiine, Põhja-Tallinn and Haabersti as well as the cities of Tartu, Viljandi, Rakvere, Kuressaare, Keila, Võru, Türi, Saue, Paide, Tapa, Kärdla, Elva, Haapsalu, Karksi-Nuia, Kilingi-Nõmme and Pärnu.
Within the Estonian capital, financial support via this measure will be determined and distributed at the city district level; in all other cities, at the municipal level.
Eligible to apply are natural persons who either own a residential building or have been granted the right of superficies or right of superficies in apartments and whose dwelling is located in a densely populated area specified in the conditions of the support measure.
This measure will provide support to dwellings whose primary purpose of use as indicated in the building register is specified as a detached home, rowhome, duplex or a home with two apartments.
An individual rowhome or duplex unit or apartment in a two-apartment home must have an autonomous heating system, or else all co-owners must submit a joint application for support.
Support per dwelling is capped at €10,000, to be reimbursed on a price model basis.
Co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the total budget for the support measure is €18.5 million. The first round will be accepting support applications on a rolling basis through the exhaustion of its €10 million budget.
The state aims to update up to 1,850 heat sources this round.
Editor: Aili Vahtla