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Energy efficiency gets support

Energy efficiency projects have received nearly HUF 80 billion in grants. The majority of these went to SMEs and is to be used for the energy-efficient renovation of buildings. The Norwegian Financing Mechanism ensures another HUF 5.6 billion for similar purposes until 2016.

More than HUF 54 billion in Hungarian and EU grants have been awarded for energy efficiency developments under the New Széchenyi Plan since the government took office last spring, the National Development Ministry has said. According to the ministry, this amount is expected to generate orders worth HUF 93 billion.

Another HUF 23 billion has been made available in the green investment system of the New Széchenyi Plan, generating HUF 45 billion in orders in the construction industry, state secretary in charge of climate issues and energy affairs János Bencsik said at a roundtable discussion at the CEP-Expo Clean Energy & Passivehouse conference in Budapest on October 19.

Of the HUF 54 billion budget, the largest sum (HUF 29 billion) went to upgrading buildings’ energy systems, and HUF 21 billion was for increasing the share of renewable energy resources. The modernization of district heating systems received HUF 3.5 billion, while HUF 0.7 billion went to updating public lighting systems.

The majority of the total amount, HUF 31.7 billion, was allocated to institutions. Companies received HUF 19 billion and of this, HUF 14 billion was given to SMEs.

Under the green investment system (a fund into which money from selling CO2 quotas was transferred), the government has earmarked more than HUF 23 billion for residential energy efficiency programs.

As a result of a recently signed memorandum of understanding on the implementation of the Norwegian Financing Mechanism, HUF 2.3 billion will be available until 2016 for building efficiency renovations, HUF 2.1 billion for investments involving renewable energy resources and raising awareness on the issue, and a further HUF 1.9 billion for programs aimed at adapting to climate change.

While 40% of Hungary’s energy consumption is generated in buildings, two-thirds of buildings in the country do not meet modern heating technology requirements, Bencsik said at the conference. Implementing energy efficiency programs could reduce Hungary’s CO2 emissions by 15 million tons, he added. PF