The Basque Country reaches the targets for energy rehabilitation of homes and buildings of the Next Funds with around 130 million euros committed to support actions in more than 15,600 homes
- The Basque Country has been the first autonomous community to reach the targets set by the central government for the release of European funds
- Families and communities will receive the total amount of aid between this year and 2026, as the refurbishments are carried out
- The Basque Country expects to obtain new funds in June 2024, as a result of the distribution of surpluses not spent by other autonomous communities.
Basque citizens have responded to the call made by the Basque Government’s Department of Territorial Planning, Housing and Transport to take advantage of the opportunity offered by the Next Generation EU Funds for the energy refurbishment of buildings and housing. The Basque Country has managed to achieve in one year the objectives set by the central government until 2026, which, through the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, is channelling the EU funds activated to tackle the post-pandemic scenario.
At present, energy refurbishment actions are accepted or being processed under programmes 3 (buildings) and 4 (homes) for more than 15,600 homes, which commit the public administration to the payment of around 130 million euros between now and 2026, as the refurbishments must be completed and justified by that year in order to be able to subsequently make the payment of aid.
The Deputy Regional Minister for Housing, Pedro Jauregui, stressed that “the Basque Country is the first autonomous community to meet the demanding targets set by the central government to release European funds, the public has thrown itself into this and we have achieved it in record time, which means that many refurbishments are already being carried out to improve energy efficiency and, with it, the quality of life of thousands of people”.
These objectives have been achieved through a wide network of 16 collaborating entities throughout the autonomous community, which have been dedicated to informing citizens and collecting the necessary documentation to apply for aid, and also through computer systems created ad hoc and which are allowing the process to be speeded up. As of this Monday, both the network of collaborating offices and the territorial delegations of the Department of Housing will stop collecting applications and will focus on the processing and payment of the aid already registered. Of these, applications for a total of 59.86 million euros have now been accepted for works affecting 4,924 homes. This means that, on average, each home will receive more than 12,100 euros in aid. Likewise, applications for nearly 70 million euros in aid for more than 10,600 homes are currently being studied for acceptance (to date, the majority of applications, more than 90%, are receiving favourable decisions).
Jauregui explained that Housing is maintaining the dialogue with the central government in order to tackle the issue of obtaining more EU funds in 2024 in the event that there are autonomous communities that do not make use of the amounts allocated to them. “There is a commitment between the ministry and the autonomous communities to distribute the funds not consumed among those that have done so, as is the case of the Basque Country”, he added. When the new funds are allocated, the process of collecting applications for aid will be reactivated for processing.
In the meantime, the Deputy Regional Minister reminded the public that the Department's ordinary refurbishment grants are still in place, which since 2021 have a new regulation and are permanently open –subject to budget availability– for actions related precisely to improving energy efficiency, but also to integral refurbishments, the creation of outdoor spaces and improved accessibility, as well as to boosting security and digitalisation.