Government has allocated a budget of 2.2 bln. euro for the renovation of buildings through the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR), sent to the European Commission in early June. These funds, which must be spent by 2026, represent a great opportunity to have buildings that are more energy efficient, healthier and more resilient to climate change.
However, for their optimal spending, there is an urgent need for a plan for the allocation of funds, the correction of legislative issues, the training of the workforce to adapt to the new mandatory standards nZEB (buildings with almost zero energy consumption), the organization and an unprecedented institutional collaboration, says Efficient Romania.
These are some of the ideas debated at the RCEPB 2021 International Conference “NZEB and the Wave of Renewals – Technology, Business and Public Policy”, an event co-organized by Energy Policy Group (EPG) under the auspices of the Efficient Romania project, the largest private project in national level of energy efficiency, carried out by EPG with the sponsorship of OMV Petrom.
“The wave of renovation represents a great opportunity. It is time to address a number of issues that have accumulated over the years – such as those related to energy service companies (ESCOs), to attract private capital to the sector, and up to a number of legislative issues that need to be corrected. On the financing side, it would be smart to give up this convenient but damaging approach of awarding 100% grants without the co-participation of the owner. It is a practice that we no longer find in any Member State. As we put the smart label on buildings, it is time to be smart in public policy decisions on how to spend money,” said Radu Dudău, EPG director and coordinator of the Efficient Romania project.
70% of the grants offered through PNRR must be attributed by the end of 2022
Romania’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan, a document prepared by the Government, still under analysis by experts in Brussels, provides that through the “Renewal Wave Fund” component (Pillar I Green Transition, Component I.5), at the end of the implementation of reforms and investments, there will be: about 1,000 – 1,500 energy refurbished blocks of flats (4 million sqm of residential buildings) and about 2,000 public buildings (2.5 million sqm) will be modernized.
The total budget proposed for the Renewal Wave is of 2.2 billion euros, from grants and loans. According to data published by the Ministry of Investment and European Projects, the rule established by the proposed Regulation is that 70% of grants be committed by the end of 2022, the deadline for accessing the difference of 30% of grants being December 31, 2023. In addition, payments for projects that will be included in national recovery and resilience programs must be done by December 2026.
As Efficient Romania has previously explained, according to the European provisions transposed into national law, in Romania, as in all other Member States of the European Union, since the beginning of this year all new buildings, but also those that enter a process of major renovation must comply with the nZEB (nearly zero energy building) standard, meaning to have an energy consumption almost equal to zero, ensured largely by renewable energy sources, but also by a high degree of energy efficiency.