IQ energy project from EBRD to compensate up to 20% of thermo-modernization of houses and flats

December 15, 2016.

This initiative is to encourage energy efficiency in private households and big apartment buildings. See how to get a refund.

Citizens of Ukraine may receive compensation for thermo-modernization of houses and flats and energy efficiency through the IQ energy program – a project of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) financed by Partnership E5R and supported by the European Union. The program’s fund is EUR 75 million on loans, EUR 15 million – directly on compensations for individuals and condominiums. People can take out a bank loan for insulation or installing energy efficient equipment and receive compensation for 15-20 percent of the loan amount. You can also receive a compensation for the cost of installation and related products. Credit terms and amounts of compensation vary depending on types of work and a loan term. “The EBRD compensation for one individual may be up to EUR 3 thousand,” said Oksana Bulgakova, IQ energy program director, at a discussion held at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. She added that similar programs had been functioning in 20 countries already.

The loan program was launched in July this year in cooperation with OTP Bank and UkrSibbank. So far, it works only for individuals. “They have already provided loans for about UAH 22 million. About a thousand people have participated in the program and received compensation or are currently receiving,” noted Oksana Bulgakova. The average loan amount is UAH 22,000 most of them – for the installation of energy efficient windows.

How it works
To make use of the program, you need to buy on hire purchase terms some certified energy efficient equipment – windows, doors, radiators, boilers, heat pumps that process 1 kW of electricity in 5 kW of heat energy and so on. The nominal rate is 19.99% per annum in hryvnias (UAH). There are two ways to take out a loan – through the IQ energy program website or directly in retail network when buying equipment. Today representatives of both banks work in almost all Epicenter hypermarkets and some other shops. They can specify all the details and sign a contract on the grounds. All you need is a passport and an ID code.

A program participant installs equipment in a house or flat, takes photographs of the works performed and applies for participation in the program via the IQ energy program website. “Customers receive money in their account in euros within 3-5 weeks from the date of confirmation. Neither the EBRD, nor IQ energy, nor a partner bank can control how customers use the money. They can withdraw cash or pay off the loan – as they wish,” said Oksana Bulgakova. Periodically, there are promotional offers for loans for certain products of different brands. For instance, currently Epicenter offers an interest- free three- month loan for the Bosch boilers.

Users can choose the best energy efficient equipment in the catalog on the project website. It has more than 2,700 kinds of products from some 800 companies. You can also see where the nearest store selling this equipment is located and calculate via “energy efficiency calculator” how much you can save after its installation. The website also offers video guides and tips.

Oksana Bulgakova noted that before making a decision it is advisable to make energy audit of the home in order to see where the greatest heat loss is and consult experts as to which option would be best and how to do it correctly. Maksym Syrotin, “Bosch” company, said that energy efficiency, such as of solid fuel boilers, depends on how cleverly the system is constructed. The details can be cleared up by calling a consultation department of equipment manufacturers, or the Epicenter.

Peculiarities of frontline area 
Residents of frontline areas can also use the program, but most likely they will have to go to the bank branch to take out a loan. At the same time, said Oksana Bulgakova, a preliminary decision can be found remotely. “A person can call up the bank, give his passport number, ID number and receive a preliminary decision about the bank readiness to cooperate that in 99% of cases is final,” she explained.

Loans for condominiums will be issued next year
It is planned to launch the program of loans for condominiums next year. According to Oksana Bulgakova, 35% of the loan amount will be reimbursed to residents of condominiums for comprehensive thermo-modernization; this compensation can exceed 10 thousand euros – depending on the cost of works.

People in the regions should be more informed about energy efficiency programs
Yulia Cheberyak, civil network “OPORA,” noted that it is important to better inform people in the regions about such financial tools. According to her, visits to small towns have revealed that people know nothing even about the program “Warm loans.” This was reported by the residents of Sievierodonetsk who were asking questions via Skype: according to them, there is practically no information in the media. “Communicative component should be an integral part of the reform,” emphasized Yulia Cheberyak.

All programs should be implemented as an integrated system
Yulia Cheberyak noted that now there should be as many of these projects and programs as possible at the state and local levels so that companies should compete for a consumer, and the consumer should have a choice. She stressed that it is important that the program “Warm loans” should be continued and the Energy Efficiency Fund should be launched simultaneously; all these should also be combined with local programs and co-financing of owners. “A single package should be developed, which would include state support, local programs, and co-financing of owners. If you just give people a tool of state support, they will not understand their responsibility for economical energy consumption,” she noted.

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