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Budapest asks Ft 11 bln for subsidized heating

Mayor of Budapest Gábor Demszky is applying for Ft 11 billion to finance the installation of individual meters and thermostats in 180,000 centrally heated flats.

This amount represents 50% cost of the investment. The other half of the project will be covered by Főtáv Zrt. Government support will be obtained through minister of environment and water Gábor Fodor. The number of apartments with central heating totals 240,000. Over 6,000 flats have already been disconnected from the grid, and switched to alternative solutions - this trend will probably continue to rise unless the central service gets cheaper. This project called Eco Program will return the investment in 12-13 years, as Főtáv is subsidized with Ft 5.6 billion per year. 15% of this amount could be spared through the new system, which enables the houses to use adjustable heating, and make it possible to pay for the quantity of heat actually used.

Electricity providers Budapest Electricity Works Nyrt (Elmü) and North Hungary Electricity Provider Nyrt (Émász) offer four programs to help households, small enterprises and municipalities to operate in an energy-saving way. The programs were announced at a press conference, where an interactive model of an "Energy Saving House" was presented, too. The first program is the Energy School (Energia Suli), the second is Energy Piggy-Bank   (Energia Persely), the third is Energy Point (Energia Pont) and the last one is Energy Check (Energia Check), which focuses on energy efficiency. Energy saving is important for the country as a whole, as it helps decrease the dependence on import and improves environmental protection, said Ferenc J Horváth, chairman of Hungarian Energy Office. (NG, GR)