Promoting energy savings in residential buildings: examples from European countries

Making buildings more energy efficient has many economic, social, and environmental benefits. In this article, we explore national initiatives and projects targeting households.

Central and Eastern Europe


  • Eko Sklad - Eco Fund, Slovenian Environmental Public Fund promotes developments in environmental protection by offering financial incentives for different projects. A few years ago, as part of the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan 2014-2020, the Eco Fund financed a free energy advisory network to improve energy efficiency for households, including tackling the issue of energy poverty. The Eco Fund issued a public call for donations for 500 low-income households in Slovenia through the project Program ZERO500. The aim was to implement energy efficiency measures which would lead to a reduction of energy consumption, thereby lowering energy bills. Some of the measures implemented included thermal insulation of the roof, ceiling and façade, new doors and windows, and the replacement of the water heating equipment with solar water heaters or a heat pump. The incentives covered 100% of the cost of works within a maximum limit.


  • Call for renovation of residential dwellings to tackle energy poverty. It has been launched by the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund (EPEEF) This call is specifically targeted at vulnerable groups, recipients of guaranteed minimum allowance. The call consists of a grant rate of 100% for renovation projects and technical assistance for the most vulnerable groups of households by social welfare centres and EPC certifiers. EPEEF will launch a new call in December 2023 with an allocation of EUR 25 million to renovate 1,000 houses with co-financing covering 100% of renovation costs
  • Pilot schemes for state-owned multi-apartment buildings aims at renovating about 400 buildings owned and managed by the Central State Office for Renovation and Housing. The buildings have been selected based on the worst-performing and occupants who cannot afford the renovation costs. The investments needed will be partly covered by the Recovery & Resilience Plan and by the State budget and solidarity compensation funds. The estimated energy saving potentials are 26 GWh per year. Moreover, the installation of PV panels for self-consumption could altogether lead to energy saving of 691 tCO2 per year.

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Emily Coe-Björsell