The Slovenia Times

Action plan adopted to halve energy poverty

A thermostatic radiator valve. Photo: dpa/STA

The government is planing investment in energy efficiency and the use of renewables in a bid to almost halve the share of households suffering from energy poverty by 2030. Financial support will be made available through the EcoFund.

Statistics Office estimates show there were 62,000 or 7.2% households in Slovenia in 2022 that had to reduce their energy consumption to a degree that negatively impacted on their health and well-being. The proportion rose from 6.5% in 2021.

The government adopted an action plan on 30 November that targets to reduce that level to between 3.8% and 4.6% by 2030.

The idea is to implement investments in energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources for at least 8,000 energy-poor households, to create cumulative energy savings of 573 gigawatt hours for these households in 2023-2030.

The focus will be on the implementation of the measures over the next three years. For the 2024-2026 period, €33.8 million is planned, according to Bojan Kumer, the minister of the environment, climate and energy.

Of that sum, €27 million is to be invested in measures to increase energy efficiency and the use of renewables, such as the installation of new wood biomass heating systems.

A further €5 million is planned for the integration of energy poor households into energy communities, and €1.8 million for access to information and awareness-raising.

"This not only addresses energy poverty, but also reduces greenhouse gas emissions and improves living conditions for vulnerable groups," Kumer said.

The action plan is also a key document aimed to ensure a fair transition to a low carbon society for all, and for the successful management of the resources already available for reducing energy poverty.

After 2026, additional EU funding will be available to deal with energy poverty, which will account for a large part of the approximately €300 million that Slovenia will receive from the Social Climate Fund, the minister said.

The main authority for energy poverty reduction measures is the EcoFund, which has been carrying out such programmes for almost a decade. It offers co-financing or full financing for energy renovation of buildings to recipients of social security benefits.

The fund will publish a new call for subsidies aimed at materially deprived households on 1 December. They will be entitled to up to €18,000 in support for one or more measures, including thermal insulation of the roof, external walls or floors, installation of energy-efficient windows, a domestic hot water system, and replacement of an old heating appliance with a new one fuelled by biomass.


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