There are opportunities for those living in Cyprus to the reduce their energy costs through a new energy saving scheme that encourages the use of renewable energy sources and energy saving in households.

ON MARCH 8TH 2019 the Ministry of Energy announced a new grant scheme for households which aims to reduce the cost of energy for consumers, as well as to support the country’s efforts in meeting the required energy saving goals for the period that ends in 2020.

The scheme which opened on March 12th 2019 and it is titled “the grant scheme for the encouragement of the use of renewable energy sources and the energy saving in households” has a total budget of €24.5M it will remain open until 02/09/2019 or until the budget runs out, and it is co-funded by the Renewable Energy and the Energy-Saving Funds.

The scheme covers the three following categories:

1. Revision of the existing scheme which has been in effect since October 2018 for the insulation of roofs on existing houses. This category which offers a 30% grant on the eligible expenditures and up to an amount of €1500 is retroactive for any insulation works that took place after 08/10/2018.

2. Roof insulation and installation of a photovoltaic system with the net metering method. This category offers a grant of 35% on the eligible expenditures for roof insulation and up to an amount of €1800 and €300 per installed kW of a photovoltaic system with a maximum amount of €1200. This category is retroactive also for roof insulation works that were carried out after 08/10/2018 and for net metering systems which were installed after 01/11/2018.

3. Installation of a photovoltaic system with the net metering method. This category offers a grant of €250 per installed kW of a photovoltaic system with a maximum amount of €1000 and again the grant works retroactively for systems installed after 01/11/2018. For this category there is also a sub-category only for vulnerable groups and the grant can reach the amount of €3600.

For categories B & C the grant also applies in the case of an increase in the capacity of existing photovoltaic systems. Additionally to the new grant scheme, under certain conditions set out by an older regulatory administrative act and an explanatory circular that followed, consumers in the first and second category could qualify for a reduced (5%) VAT.

Further to the above categories, publically available information speaks of another category which is expected to be announced soon and which will be offering a grant for the purchase of a photovoltaic system, under the net metering method, for the charging of an electric/hybrid car.

These days investing in renewable energy and high energy performance has become a necessity. In January of 2017 the maximum allowed energy losses for building components, on new and existing under renovation/alterations buildings, were further revised, bringing values in some cases down to less than half of what they used to be when the Law for the energy performance of buildings was firstly introduced. Any renovation/alteration works on any existing building, regardless the scale of the works, should not exceed these values something which will have to be appropriately certified by an expert. After 2020 all new buildings in Cyprus will have to meet the high standards of energy performance and environmental friendliness that describe a zero net energy building.

For Cyprus the use of renewable energy and the improvement of the energy performance of buildings is the way forward. The availability to all of appropriate grant schemes will upgrade living standards for everyone and elevate the country to a new level of efficiency and environmental sensitivity.

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