Greece aims to save 9 bln euros by 2020 through building energy efficiency program

November 5, 2010 9:12 am 

ATHENS, Nov. 5 — Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and Greek Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Tina Birbili unveiled on Thursday in Athens an ambitious energy efficiency program that aims to save Greek households, companies and state-run organizations at least 9 billion euros (12. 8 billion U.S. dollars) by 2020.

Countries such as Greece have no other option than turn to the green development model, said Papandreou during the event to present the program "Building the Future."

"We combine environmental protection with a new development mentality that can lead to more investments and job positions," stressed the Greek premier, noting that the construction sector accounts to 50 percent of investments in Greece currently.

Greek households are the biggest energy consumers across Europe, noted Papandreou. The average Greek household consumes a 30- percent more energy than the average household in Spain, a 50-percent more compared to an average Portuguese household and in some cases the triple energy in comparison with Northern European households, according to surveys.

Furthermore, due to poor construction Greek families of low incomes who live in old buildings have to pay on average 127 percent more money for energy compared to owners of modern renovated homes with bigger incomes.

Therefore, from early 2011 to 2020 the Greek government will offer a series of incentives to Greek households and enterprises to renovate old buildings in order to make them more energy efficient, such as low interest loans and speedier procedures in applications for participation in this program.

At least three million buildings across Greece can take part in the "Building the Future" program, added Birbili, explaining that the program includes incentives to renovate windows and roofs, purchase new energy efficient air condition systems or energy saving lamps for office buildings. (PNA/Xinhua)

ALM/ebp

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