Preparations for the ban on burning coal and peat are under way: Vilnius is going to offer financial support to replace polluting boilers
Vilnius is starting preparations for the ban on burning coal and peat briquettes in the capital which is going to take effect in June 2023. On Wednesday, Vilnius City Council passed a resolution on providing partial funding to individuals who decide to swap their fossil-fuel heating systems for ones that use renewable energy sources or to connect their homes to district heating systems.
“Fossil fuels are hundreds of times more polluting than biomass and tens of thousands of times more polluting than district heating, not even to mention the renewable energy. A ban on burning coal and peat is necessary for the health and convenience of all of us, however we are aware that such a conversion requires investments. In order to ease the financial burden on the population, we propose to use the partial reimbursement mechanism,” says Vilnius Deputy Mayor, Valdas Benkunskas.
For those who swap their heating method for a less polluting one, the state offers various central reimbursement mechanisms. The Environmental Project Management Agency (Aplinkos projektų valdymo agentūra, APVA) is going to reimburse 50% of the costs for those residents who decide to swap their fossil-fired boilers for renewable energy systems, and as much as 85% for the low-income residents. Whereas, individuals who wish to connect to district heating networks can apply for a 50% refund from the Environmental Project Management Agency.
In turn, Vilnius City Municipality will cover additional 15% of the costs under each reimbursement scheme.
“Low-income residents who switch to exclusively renewable energy heating solutions will incur no costs under this procedure. And for all other residents, the funding for switching to renewable energy sources or connecting to district heating networks will increase to 65%,” explains V. Benkunskas.
However, it is emphasized that individuals applying for a partial funding from Vilnius City Municipality will first have to be granted a reimbursement allowance from APVA in accordance with the measures of the Climate Change Program in force.
Natural persons swapping fossil Low-income natural persons swapping fossil Natural persons connecting
fuel heating systems for RES fuel heating systems for RES to district heating networks
FUNDING BY THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECT MANAGEMENT AGENCY
50% of eligible costs 85% of eligible costs 50% of eligible costs
ADDITIONAL FUNDING GRANTED BY VILNIUS CITY MUNICIPALITY
15% of eligible costs 15% of eligible costs 15% of eligible costs
65% of eligible costs 100% of eligible costs 65% of eligible costs
According to the municipal program, residents will be able to swap their coal and peat fired heating facilities for efficient renewable energy source technologies such as ground-to-water, water-to-water, air-to-water and air-to-air heat pumps.
It is estimated that there are 3522 residential buildings in the capital whose occupants could benefit from this support mechanism. A total of € 3.49 million is earmarked for the program. According to preliminary estimates, the reimbursement amount could reach 60,000 euros in 2022.
Applications for funding will be received and processed by the Energy Department of the Vilnius City Municipality Administration. More detailed information will be made available to the residents after the reimbursement procedure enters into force.
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