Slovakia: Solar Collectors Second Most Favourite Choice for Green Homes

Green HomesThe long-awaited support scheme for the utilisation of renewable energy sources in residential buildings, Green Homes, was launched on 1 December 2015 – finally, one might say, as its start had already been planned for August 2015. With the EU-funded programme, the Slovak government intends to get homeowners to transform their energy supply ecologically. Any kind of small-scale renewable technology is eligible for the programme. Not only residential homeowners will get back up to 50% of their project costs, but also associations of flat owners are eligible for financial support, whereas companies are not entitled to any incentive (see further information in the database of incentive programmes). The chart from the programme´s website shows the three most favourite technologies during the first allocation period: photovoltaics, solar thermal and heat pumps.
 
The delay in implementation was caused by a two-phase preparation period. According to the Slovak Innovation and Energy Agency (SIEA), the first phase had been used to register qualified products and the second phase to establish a list of qualified installers. You will find the list of authorised installers from 30 December 2015 attached to this article, as well as the list of eligible collectors from 22 December 2015.
 
The Green Homes programme will be implemented during several allocation periods. “The first round focusing on home owners has been closed four days after opening, because the money allocated to it had already been used up,” says Eduard Jambor. According to the Communications Officer from SIEA, the budget allocated during the first grant period was EUR 3.25 million, of which EUR 470,000 went to the region of Bratislava and EUR 2.78 million to the rest of the country. Jambor seems satisfied with Slovakians’ great interest in the programme. “In January 2016, the second round will be launched, and it will have a higher amount allocated,” he promises. Until 2018, a total for EUR 45 million should be granted to residential building owners who wish to install renewable energy systems, including solar collectors. 
 
472 SWH vouchers issued after four-day allocation period
“Before submitting their application, homeowners should already know what kind of installation they want and which size the system will have, since the amount of support depends on the installed solar thermal capacity of the individual installation,” explains Jambor. Single-family homes receive 500 EUR per kW of solar thermal capacity, capped at EUR 1,750. Owners of blocks of flats receive 350 EUR/kW for systems of up to 20 kW and 450 EUR/kW for systems of more than 20 kW. The power of a particular collector in Watt is taken from the Solar Keymark certificate at a difference of 30 Kelvin between the mean collector temperature and the ambient temperature. 
 
Applicants receive a voucher entitling them to buy and install a renewable energy system and can choose among the installers registered with SIEA. To obtain an accreditation as a supplier, companies have to be registered in Slovakia or another EU member country, whereas their solar collectors have to be certified by Solar Keymark. “For foreign suppliers, it may be a little bit difficult to benefit from the programme, because there has not yet been any information material in English, although it is in preparation,” says SIEA’s communications officer. 
 

Region

Amount total

No. of issued
vouchers

No. of solar
thermal grants

Bratislava

EUR    470,000

   195

  41

Countryside

EUR 2,780,000

1,260

431

Results for the first Green Homes allocation period between 1 and 4 December 2015
 
According to the communications officer, the highest interest in the first round was sparked by photovoltaics. Solar collectors took second place, whereas heat pumps ranked third and biomass boilers last. “Until 2018, we expect to install at least 55 MW of renewable energies in single-family or two-family homes and multi-family buildings under the national Green Homes programme,” Jambor says. 
 
More information:
Slovak Innovation and Energy Agency (SIEA): www.siea.sk
Project website of Green Homes: www.zelenadomacnostiam.sk
 
Frank Stier is a Sofia-based freelance journalist working for print and online media, as well as news agencies: www.socb.de
autorised_installers_slovakia.pdf 553.1 Kb [163 download(s)]
eligible_solar_thermal_systems.pdf 233.3 Kb [176 download(s)]
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