Croatia BUILD UPON workshop addresses barriers in financing energy efficiency renovation projects
The third BUILD UPON workshop „Financing“, organized by the Croatia Green Building Council, took place on May 31st 2016 in the Westin hotel in Zagreb. It involved 34 stakeholders divided into 4 groups and addressed the barriers in the area of financing EE building renovation projects.
The guest speaker was Mr. Luca Bertalot from EMF and his presentation on green mortgages was the first among 5 presentations held prior to the start of group work. Other presentations included speakers from the Environment and Energy Efficiency Fund, HEP Esco, University of Economics, Zagreb and the EBRD. The groups were coordinated by members of the Ministry of Construction and Physical Planning team and CGBC and they analyzed the barriers in various forms of financing: EEEF subsidies, bank loans and ESCo models, as well as possible tax reliefs for EE projects.
The workshop was concluded with the following recommendations: continuity of government subsidies, setting up a special EE projects fund and once there will be no more subsidies, other financing instruments should be introduced. Implementing a precise method for controlling energy savings, setting up government guarantees for areas with lower income and receiving better credit lines from the Croatian Bank for Restructuring and Development. ESCo contracts need to be standardized, a guarantee fund needs to be set up for ESCo projects and legislation needs to be updated. With regards to taxes, fossil fuel excises should be increased and at the same time, the ones for renewables should be decreased. There is a strong need for reducing VAT on goods and services and some form of tax relief should be arranged for investments in EE renovation projects.