Austrian Energy Efficient Building Initiative

AUSTRIA has embarked upon an ambitious programme for improving the energy performance of buildings, which covers both rehabilitation and new construction projects.

Comprehensive promotional programmes are being co-financed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) under an EUR 150m framework loan. The contract for an initial EUR 50m tranche was signed today in Vienna between the EIB and Bausparkasse der Österreichischen Sparkassen AG ("Erste BAU"), which will make the funds available to borrowers.

The EIB loan will be used to co-finance refurbishment schemes that will enhance the energy efficiency of public and residential buildings with an energy efficiency performance substantially above the required minimum level in Austria.

In this way, the country is seeking to increase the proportion of buildings that consume almost no energy and are supplied from renewable energy sources. These buildings are also referred to as "nearly zero energy buildings" (NZEB). Austria will thus comply with the EU directive requiring that all new buildings in the EU meet NZEB standards by 2021. For public buildings, this requirement comes into effect in 2019.

The EIB loan will be available for projects leading to documented energy savings and or increased use of renewable energies. These may include, for example, improvements to building shells or heating systems. Projects that use renewable energies for heating and electricity are also eligible. Both private and public sector projects may benefit from the funds.

Picture of Vienna by Omnidoom 999 (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Friday 10th January 2014

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