More than 80% of existing buildings in Spain get a bad grade in efficiency in energy expenditure, according to the certificate that measures this quality of buildings. The housing stock requires reforms that reduce energy consumption and make it more sustainable. Its age -more than half of the constructions are prior to 1980- also requires an update of elements such as boilers, insulation and lighting, determining factors in the monthly bill and the environmental footprint.
According to experts, these factors open a huge window to rehabilitate the 25 million homes in the Spanish stock, responsible for 30% of CO₂ emissions. Pedro Prieto, director of Energy Saving and Efficiency at the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE), attached to the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, foresees that the new Next Generation EU European funds will help renovate more than a million homes in the next decade: “The bad scenario from which we started gives us a lot of potential for energy savings. The impact of these reforms is estimated at an average reduction in energy consumption of over 40%”.
Communities of neighbors and owners can rehabilitate their homes and buildings through these European funds. The amount of aid obtained will depend on the degree of energy savings achieved with the reforms. These discounts are articulated in two ways: through deductions in the Personal Income Tax (IRPF) of the amounts invested in the rehabilitation work; and through subsidies on the costs of the works. The beneficiaries, in both cases, must provide the invoices for these interventions.
- 20% deduction in personal income tax. Reduction in the demand for heating and cooling of the home of at least 7%. Maximum annual base of the deduction of 5,000 euros per year.
- 40% deduction in personal income tax. Reduction in the demand for heating and cooling of the dwelling by 30%. Maximum annual base of 7,500 euros per year.
- 60% deduction in personal income tax. Obtaining energy rating A or B. Maximum annual base of 15,000 euros per year.
Source: Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda.
- With a reduction of 30% of non-renewable energy, an aid of 40% is obtained. Maximum of €6,300 per dwelling in the case of community of owners.
- With a reduction of between 45% and 60% in non-renewable energy, an aid of 60% is achieved. Maximum of €11,600 per dwelling in the case of community of owners.
- With a reduction greater than 60% of non-renewable energy, an aid of 80% can be achieved. Maximum of €18,800 per dwelling in the case of community of owners.
Source: National Association of Efficient Rehabilitation and Reform Companies (ANERR).
These actions are facilitated by the rehabilitation agents, third-party companies that manage and execute the works. Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado, president of Rehabiterm, a company in the housing sector and registered rehabilitation agent, affirms that the role of companies like his is to free citizens who are encouraged by these reforms of paperwork and paperwork: “We locate the communities of owners, we study the buildings, we analyze the energy saving capacity and we carry out the project”.
He knows in depth all the sides of the coin.
According to the energy calculator offered by this company, in a work consisting of updating the lighting in common areas with LED bulbs and improving the insulation of a building with ten dwellings, a saving of 80% of the total cost is estimated. Salvador Díez Lloris, president of the General Council of Associations of Property Administrators (CGCAF), provides more information about this system: “The amounts available to the user are high. If the savings scales are exceeded, the aid is high and with guarantees”.
His company manages the grants and financing, in addition to executing the works. Rehabiterm and the rest of the rehabilitation agents work hand in hand with the so-called rehabilitation offices, official organizations in the sector such as architects’ associations or quantity surveyors. The objective is to respond to the needs of any community of owners quickly and efficiently. Gómez-Pintado talks about how technology has streamlined these processes: “For example, we use a laser that launches two million points at a facade and in less than two minutes we have a full-scale plan with millimeter error that we upload to the program.”
The time to launch
These actions lead to tangible savings, in the short and long term. “With a good envelope on the façade and roofs, a saving of 30% is feasible”, exemplifies Gómez-Pintado. Maria C. Cocchiara, from the technical department of ANERR, emphasizes that a double benefit is achieved: “In addition to that derived from carrying out the work, savings in energy costs and future bills are achieved.” Added to this is the increase in the value of the home. “The investment in reforms revalues the property to a greater extent than what was contributed”, Gómez-Pintado resumes. Improvements that result in potentially better sales and rental prices.
The current context is also conducive to renovating a home. “The energy crisis shows that those who are not efficient have a problem. With the volatility of prices, it is no longer a non-convenience, but a necessity”, continues Díaz Llorís. Some neighborhood communities, he adds, have paid more in two and a half months than in the entire year on their energy bill.
Experts agree that European funds are a great opportunity, but pedagogy is still lacking to convince owners to overcome obstacles such as laziness in the face of this type of intervention or the initial financial outlay they entail. “We have a well-aligned supply, but a more complicated demand. Many communities have not been able to meet due to the pandemic, for example. Others are paying extraordinary spills. You have to do accounts”, continues Díez Lloris.
100% rehabilitation by 2050
In this context, public-private collaboration becomes important again, embodied in official bodies and rehabilitation agents, but also in banking entities. Everyone plays their part to achieve one of the objectives set by the European Union: that by 2050 100% of the building stock is refurbished and renovated.
Carmen Urraca, Director of European Funds at Banco Sabadell, explains that her mission is to guide and encourage communities of residents and owners to take advantage of the current opportunity: “Historically, these projects tend to be complicated because they require a series of licenses and initial expenses that they had to be financed with community funds. But today, with European aid, it is cheaper and more accessible than ever. We want to be next to the owners and make their way easier”.
The banking entity, which works hand in hand with several rehabilitation agents, makes different loan options available to its clients to finance the amount of these reforms once deductions and subsidies have been made. In addition, any client can go to its network of territorial offices or to its specialized managers to resolve doubts and Obtain information about European funds Next Generation EU.
Aid available for the ecological transition
For self-consumption and storage facilities
One of the most important items of the energy transition, 660 million euros, expandable to 1,320 million depending on demand, will be used to promote facilities self-consumption with renewable sources. Three actions stand out within the plan: aid for electricity self-consumption (with a minimum of 20% of the budget and a higher amount for municipalities with a demographic challenge and self-employed); self-consumption of thermal renewables (with aid to SMEs of between 40% and 45%); and biomass boilers (with aid between 550 euros and 13,500 euros per home depending on the technology used).
For the purchase of sustainable propulsion vehicles (MOVES)
Plan endowed with 400 million euros (expandable to 800 by 2023) to support the purchase of electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles and vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells, in addition to nurturing urban recharging infrastructures.
The aid finances the purchase of vehicles and private charging systems (MOVESIII), the acquisition of vehicle fleets (MOVES FLEET), good practices in mobility (SINGULAR MOVES) or the change of heavy transport vehicles, managed by the autonomous communities with a budget from the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda. As a general rule, the greater the number of vehicles, the greater the aid.
For the energy rehabilitation of buildings in municipalities facing the demographic challenge (PREE 5000)
Aid amounting to 50 million euros for energy rehabilitation such as the improvement of the thermal envelope of buildings, the energy efficiency of thermal installations or lighting systems. Funding can exceed 60% of the budget. Supplementary aid is contemplated for vulnerable groups.
For investments in clean energy projects in municipalities facing the demographic challenge (DUS 5000)
Aimed at accelerating the Sustainable Urban Development (DUS), this program received in just one week almost a thousand requests from local entities in municipalities with a demographic challenge, which caused the Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge to increase the budget from 75 million to 325 million. The plan finances renewable electricity and thermal generation facilities, improvements to the thermal envelope of municipal buildings, electric mobility or demand management systems. The aid starts at 85% and can reach 100% of the investment.
For the constitution of energy communities
Charged to the Next Generation EU fund, some 100 million euros will be allocated to the creation of energy communities and will be articulated in three programs: CE-Learn, CE-Plan and CE-Implement. The goal is to facilitate the creation of these communities from scratch, a process supported by the network of Community Transformation Offices.
For energy efficiency in industry and agricultural facilities
Companies and freelancers must go to the autonomous communities to request aid, since they are the ones that manage the programs.
Drafting: Jaime Ripa
Editorial coordination: Juan Antonio Carbajo
Design: John Sanchez
Layout: Nativity Pole
Design coordination: Adolfo Domenech