Energy prices forced the Czech Republic to undertake renovations. But they forget about subsidies

Steeply rising energy prices and ecological thinking drove the Czechs to make sustainable improvements to their homes. 85 percent of the owners of single-family houses started replacing windows or doors, buying more energy-efficient appliances, insulating and other renovations. And one in five realized such a reconstruction with their own help. This is shown by a new survey by Buřinka, Stavební spořitelna Česká spořitelna.

43 percent of respondents have already replaced windows or doors, a third have insulated their house. More than half of family house owners (57%) plan renovations leading to energy savings in 2023.

Remodeling that homeowners have done before may no longer be enough. “If someone insulated more than ten years ago, they probably used unsuitable material with a small thickness. Instead of the popular 5 cm thick polystyrene, mineral wool is more suitable for older houses, which wicks away moisture better,” explains architect Lukáš Zimandl from the Design4Function studio.

The biggest motivation for renovation is saving money. Because of him, 8 out of 10 respondents decided to make adjustments. For a third of the owners, the reason is ecology, some people are also influenced by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the reluctance to use gas because of this.

Better a mortgage than a subsidy

Although saving money is the main motivation for sustainably renovating a family home, only 31.9% of respondents know exactly how much they have saved through renovations. Every fifth man and every tenth woman calculated their savings in advance.

The free and non-commercial consultancy of the Energy Center České Budějovice (ECCB) recommends that people who are not sure whether an economical renovation is worthwhile for them and makes sense in terms of return, contact experts from Energy consulting and information centers (EKIS). In them, people can consult their questions with experts guaranteed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade for free.

Read more:  How to Get 50 Percent Electricity Subsidy in September 2021 from PLN! Here's How to Claim Free Electricity

EKIS will also help people with subsidies for reconstruction, which almost 40 percent of respondents did not use because they found the application too complicated. “Again, it’s ideal to consult with an expert, in this case most likely a financial one. In general, it is more advantageous to use one’s own sources of financing and a subsidy for that. It is relatively simple within the framework of subsidy titles, and in addition, MAS and EKIS help with free administration,” says Miroslav Adamec, ECCB project manager, for Seznam Zprávy.

A quarter of people used the subsidy for sustainable reconstruction. Half of them applied for it themselves, the other half used the help of the company that carried out the modifications. Almost thirty percent of the owners of single-family houses have not yet applied for subsidies, but they plan to.

“The problem can theoretically be set criteria, for example, in the insulation of the facade, a minimum insulation thickness of 20 centimeters and the like,” Adamec thinks about possible complications.

Most people financed the sustainable reconstruction from their savings. People also take out a mortgage or take out a loan for renovations. And building societies have also confirmed their greater interest to the editors.

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“Interest in the Savings Housing Loan, which finances mostly partial energy-saving technologies, such as photovoltaics, at a preferential interest rate, has increased more than six times year-on-year,” says Patrik Madle, ČSOB Group press spokesman. Between 2021 and 2022, the share of mortgages for economical housing provided for the main purpose of the reconstruction loan increased by 60 percent.

The Modrá pyramida building society also has a favorable interest rate with Rychloúvér for sustainable housing. “It is obvious that the interest in this type of financing is constantly growing, and the current development of energy prices has clearly further accelerated it,” said Pavel Zúbek from the press department of the Blue Pyramid. As he added, the loan has been in effect since September 2022, so they do not yet have a year-on-year comparison.

Stavební spořitelna Česká spořitelna also draws attention to the fact that for people, the disadvantage of part of the subsidies lies in the fact that the support is paid retroactively. The loan from Buřinka also offers a lower interest rate for sustainable renovations and enables an extraordinary repayment without fees after receiving the subsidy.

The survey was conducted by Instant Research in November and December 2022 among 1,000 owners of family houses.

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