Romanian MEP, Adriana Ticau, talks about sources of funding for energy efficiency in buildings within World GBC Europe Network event in BrusslesOctober 13, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Posted in Legislative Outreach | Leave a comment
Tags: Brussels, buildings, energy_efficiency, european funding, funding, WGBC
On the 21st of September, in Brussels, 15 Green Building Councils from different European countries celebrated World Green Building Weektogether with officials from the European Parliament and the European Commission [see a full report on the meeting’s outcome]. Among the key speakers, Romanian MEP Adriana Ticau addressed the audience highlighting the importance that recently adopted legislation such as EPBD 2 and the new measures included in the Roadmap for a Resource Efficient Europe have on strengthening the construction standards. Ms Ticau also talked about funding sources to ensure the high standards included in the legislation are met. As one of the well known supporters for higher level funding for energy efficiency in buildings she reminded the attendees about the opportunity for national governments to use up to 4% from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for energy efficient housing projects. Without spending that in 2007-2013 budgeting period it will be very difficult to negotiate higher shares from 2013 onwards.
According to the Regulation 397/2009 (that modifies the initial Regulation 1080/2006) the Member States can allocate up to 4% from the ERDF on projects for energy efficiency and use of renewable energy in existing housing. In the Regulation 1828/2006 (art 47.2) there are specified also the types of interventions that can be funded:
- renovation of the common parts of multi-family residential buildings
- delivery of modern social housing of good quality through renovation and change of use of existing buildings owned by public authorities or non-profit organizations
The 4% specific allocation for energy efficiency and RES in buildings should be added to the initial 2% allocation for housing that was available even before ; those combined could make possible an allocation for rehabilitation of low-income housing of 6% from the 9431 Mio EUR that were allocated to Romania from ERDF for the 2007-2013 period.
In Romania ERDF is one of the Structural Funds that is funding the priorities from the Regional Operational Program (ROP) and part of the Economic Competitiveness Sectoral Operational Program. The Axis 1 from ROP vaguely makes a reference to the possibility for local public authorities to obtain funding for social housing projects, but only if these are previously included in the Integrated Urban Development Plans. Social housing is not specified clearly in the indicative list of potential activities but it is included as a performance indicator for the overall assesment of the ROP. So, with a bit of imagination, public authorities could fund this type of projects. Unfortunately, from analyzing the list of projects that were financed so far under Axis 1 from ROP, not even one is related to energy efficiency in residential buildings or to delivering social housing.
In the Economic Competitiveness Program the situation is even more blurry because, even if there is a funding line for Improving the energy efficiency by the end-users (Measure 4.3), project that would fund energy efficiency in the housing sector are not specificaly included.
Ministry of Regional Development and Ministry of Economy could re-negotiate the priorities and budget allocation in both programs (ROP and Economic Competitiveness) with the European Commission and include a very clear allocation for projects aiming at improving energy efficiency in social housing. Also – because there is no European wide definition of what “social housing” mean, the European Commission left it upon each Member State to define it according to their national set criteria. There are signs that some discussion around the topic already started between the Ministry of Development and European Commission, but we need to move quick to be able to also implement some projects.