Residents of the inner harbour area will be eligible to apply for funding to improve their homes' energy efficiency and environmental friendliness.

The pilot scheme Irrinova Darek will be open for one month starting on March 1, in a bid to encourage residents to invest in better air circulation, water and air temperature control systems and highly efficient appliances. 

Environment Minister Aaron Farrugia announced the scheme on Monday, saying the pilot project will be one of a series of incentives in line to achieve Malta's 2050 carbon-neutrality targets.

The government is initially allocating €600,000 on a first-come, first-served basis for the initiative.

Applicants are required to register their interest with the Building and Construction Authority before they are guided to proceed with the application. Upon completion of works, the government will reimburse up to 90% of the project cost, after an evaluation carried out by the BCA.

The maximum disbursement is €15,000 with an additional €900 going towards the installation of a solar water heater or a heat-pump water heater.

The minister said the scheme will act as a testing ground and could potentially be extended to other areas. 

Parliamentary Secretary for Construction Chris Agius said the government chose this area to kick-start the first initiative because it is peppered with relatively old houses built after the second world war, and are predominantly energy inefficient and typically very challenging and expensive to renovate.

Building and Construction Authority CEO Karl Azzopardi said dwellings must be designed and renovated more efficiently to address climate change and reduce emissions.

Though such renovations may not typically show rapid return on investment, they are extremely beneficial in the long-term because they safeguard our built heritage, and benefit the environment as well as the people living inside such dwellings, he said.

The renovations can be tailored to the dwelling’s specific needs and are flexible.

 

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