Older homes set for energy makeovers
Athens News, 31 July 2009

Thousands of old, draughty, uninsulated homes across Greece could be set for an energy-efficient makeover under a new programme to be introduced this autumn.

Announcing the measures on July 28, Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis said that they would greatly contribute to the country meeting a number of its long-term energy-saving targets, detailed in the national energy efficiency plan, by 2020.

The measures, the minister hopes, will aid Greece's overall effort to become more energy efficient - reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 4 percent, producing 18 percent of gross energy output from renewable sources and cutting energy consumption by a fifth.

By providing cash grants and tax breaks to the owners of homes built before 1980, when regulations on thermal insulations were introduced, the Saving at Home programme will cover five types of renovation work.

The new measures some on the heels of other development ministry green initiatives, such as the legalisation of rooftop solar-panel electricity production, and a scheme to replace air conditioners.

"A combination of age, a lack of protection from the external environment and a lack of environmental awareness in housing design have made Greek homes the most energy-heavy in Europe," said the minister, who added that only 30 percent of homes in Greece have insulation.

Greek homes consume just under one-third of the country's energy, one of the highest rates in the EU. Moreover, 60 percent of the average household energy consumption is for heating.

The owners of houses with an objective value of less than 1,500 euros per m2 will be entitled to upgrade their homes. Homeowners in most of the Greek countryside and parts of Attica, including the whole of western Athens, Piraeus and some other municipalities, may apply for grants.

Homeowners whose properties are of greater value will be entitled to tax incentives, the details of which will be announced by the Finance Ministry at a later date.

The total cost of the two-year programme will be in the region of 1 billion euros, 400,000 euros of which will come in the form of direct state subsidies. According to the ministry, this amount will cover approximately 100,000 households or 400,000 people.

What's covered?

The two-year programme, which will commence on November 1, will provide subsidies for five different categories of work. Those marked with asterisks are compulsory.


• Roof insulation*


• Wall insulation


• Double glazed windows and frames*


• Replacing oil-fuelled home-heating boilers with energy-efficient models, gas systems or forms of renewable energy*


• Installation of solar water heaters

Subsidy rates

Successful applicants may apply for grants to cover 30 to 50 percent of the total cost of their renovations, which may not exceed a total of 120,000 euros in each case.


• For detached houses: 40 percent for renovation work that includes the external insulation of walls, otherwise 30 percent.


• For apartment blocks: 35 percent for renovation work that includes the external insulation of walls, otherwise 50 percent.