Building insulation takes off rapidly in Latvia

The insulation of multi-apartment buildings has finally taken off in Latvia. The incentive factors are the fact that the planning period, which started in 2014, is coming to the finish line, and the rapid jump in energy prices makes people consider insulation to save on energy bills, Latvian Radio reported on August 17.

The end of this planning period is rapidly approaching. Since 2014, the European Commission (EC) grants of €169 million have been available to improve the energy performance of multi-apartment buildings. If the population's interest in warming up buildings was moderate at the beginning of the program, it has now taken off, said Ieva Vērzemniece, head of the Department of Energy Efficiency Programmes of the financial institution Altum.

“The summer and also spring was and continues to be very hot. We are working on energy efficiency projects every day,” said Vērzemniece, noting that this year, compared to last year's activity, interest has doubled.

“The motivation is that the deadline for implementing the program comes to an end. By the end of next year, construction has to be completed and all documents must have been submitted to Altum. That is one thing. [..] The other thing that motivates projects to move forward is the rising cost of heating, which everyone awaits with great concern. [..] Ass evidenced by the projects that have already been completed, [warming] reduces heat consumption by 50-60% for the house,” said Vērzemniece.

Gatis Silovs, head of the Energy Finance Instruments Department of the Ministry of Economics, said he is not concerned that Latvia will be able to put all the funding of €169 million to use. The rush shortly before the end of the program was not a surprise.

“It's not the first time I see it. Obviously we are like that. Like we crammed for exams the night before, everything is being done now, because the program is about to come to an end. Already a year ago, we said, people, don't wait for the last moment. And what do we see? Now it's the last moment, and now everybody's getting together,” Silovs said.

After this program, the EUR 57 million available in the Recovery and Resilience facility plan is coming. Projects under this program should be implemented over a period of approximately 2.5 years.

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