Energy efficiency is at the heart of the renewable energy transition. Acknowledging this, governments across Europe have started to announce home renovation schemes to encourage deep energy retrofits of homes.

One of the biggest barriers to renovating your home is the upfront cost, which shuts out millions of Europeans from being able to afford an energy renovation. The STEP project partners strongly support renovation schemes, but have repeatedly called for inclusion of low-income and energy poor consumers. Thanks in part to successful advocacy on the part of Slovakian consumer organisation SOS, this will soon become a reality in Slovakia.

The Slovakian Ministry of Environmental Protection has just announced the “Obnov Dom” or “Renovate a House” programme, which aims to encourage home renovations by covering 50% of the renovation’s costs. 

Crucially, however, a special carve-out has been added to the programme that will cover 95% of the costs for vulnerable groups such as single-parent families and homeowners with disabilities. State support will be provided where energy efficiency increases by at least 30%, with a cap of €19,000.

“This is a really progressive proposal from the government, and shows that they are taking energy poverty seriously – it’s the first time we see a focus on low income households in state support schemes,” commented Petra Cakovska, energy expert at SOS. “We need to see more schemes across Europe that encourage the transition to renewables without leaving low-income consumers stranded with fossil fuels simply because of renovation costs.” 

More information can be found about the scheme for Slovakian consumers here.

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The STEP project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 847080.