The main changes proposed by the ministry include the abolition of the time priority for inclusion in the programme and instead a special system is created for the evaluation and ranking of applications in descending order of priority, i.e. through comparative evaluation.
The criteria on which the evaluation will be based will be energy-related, primarily, but also social. In particular, elements such as increased energy savings, rating days, initial (before joining the programme) energy class, age of construction, income, whether the applicants are long-term unemployed, disabled, dependants, single-parent families, etc. will be taken into account.
Elaborating further, Ms. Sdoukou noted that “we will also take into serious consideration the scoring days for the allocation of resources, which will also be a criterion for scoring and therefore prioritizing applications.”
At the same time, for the first time, the Electronic Building Identity will be included in the programme, which will be mandatory for applying to ExoEconomy and will be subsidised.
Each criterion will have a specific weight for the formation of the final score, while the obligation to upgrade energy efficiency by 3 classes remains as a criterion for inclusion in the Programme.
The distribution of the new programme’s resources
Another change that is being promoted in the design of the new “Exoikonomo-Autonomo” concerns the distribution of resources, which is planned to be done by county rather than by region.
Although the budget for the new cycle has not been “locked in”, a first idea of the funds can give a first idea of the ministry’s target for the number of subscribers.
The goal of the next cycle, as Sdoukou said, is to include 50,000 homes, to “fall” on the market, along with the expected leverage close to 1 billion euros. “The subsidies are being redefined and the cut-offs are being restructured so that more people can join and benefit from it,” the Secretary General noted.
Distortions and corrective measures
As part of the conference, Ms. Sdoukou presented some statistics on the progress of the three programmes. As she noted, the FIFO (first in first out) model was applied for all three and absorption took place within minutes. This is a model which was criticized by part of the market and consumers and in this direction the ministry is promoting the new system of admission of applications.
In designing the new programme, the Ministry of Environment takes into account the fact that in the second cycle of the “Exoikonomo-Autonomo” programme there is low participation from the first income category (the economically weaker). In particular, 61.8% of the applicants come from the first two income categories (the lowest incomes) but only 10.8% are in the first category (the economically weaker citizens).
Regarding the amount of funds available (there have been repeated requests from the market side to increase the resources for these programmes), Ms Sdoukou noted that “in Exoikonomo-Autonomo, there was a comment on the “bottleneck” of applications, which was to be expected given the high subsidies … No matter how much budget is allocated, it will never be enough to cover the huge interest that exists”.
Paving the way for disbursements in the current programme
Referring to the current “Exoikonomo-Autonomo” programme, Sdoukou announced that next Thursday the information system will be opened for the submission of the B’ PEAs (Energy Performance Certificates), which will give the green light for disbursements. The Secretary General stressed that steps have been taken to reduce the bureaucracy in the process noting that: “we have facilitated and simplified the process somewhat especially with regard to the system of checking the completeness of the supporting documents (with a check list that the Development Bank has created in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment)”.