After the initial 400 apartments, Sector 1 is expanding the initiative to the whole district , Source: Sector 1, Bucharest

Bucharest sub-municipality offers solar-powered heating for just 2 euros per month

Bucharest sub-municipality offers solar-powered heating for just 2 euros per month

Authorities are planning to expand a pilot project to cover an even bigger part of the district

Recently, authorities in Bucharest’s sub-municipality Sector 1, announced the extension of a municipally funded programme to provide residential buildings with solar-powered hot water and domestic heating.

The pilot programme ‘Termoficare de la Soare’ (Solar Heating) covered just 400 apartments in one of the district’s neighbourhoods. Now, authorities will expand it to the whole area, with an additional 2,000 apartments in 2024, and even more planned for 2023 and 2024.

Homeowners will have to pay just 10% of the cost of the photovoltaic system, with the rest being funded by Sector 1. At the same time, families can choose to pay off the sum in instalments over a period of ten years. According to a statement by the Sector 1 authorities, these instalments should average at around 2 euros per month, per apartment.

Sustainability - driven by the energy crisis

The initial project aimed at connecting 400 apartments to the city’s district heating system. It called for the installation of solar panels that would power heat pumps that can provide them with hot water throughout the year.

According to a statement by the city, the project aims to expand even further in the coming years with an additional 8,000 apartments in 2023 and another 10,000 in 2024. According to Sector 1 mayor, Clotilde Armand, this decision came about as a result of the energy crisis and is one way to quickly expand energy independence in parts of Romania’s capital.

Applications with local authorities were open to the buildings’ owners’ associations and the programme came with a substantial funding scheme, provided by Sector 1. The application process was opened in December and finished in January. Registration for new buildings in the extended programme opened at the start of April, with no announced end date.

A low barrier to entry

There are very few criteria for apartments applying for the solar heating programme. The main one is that the building must be thermally insulated, meaning it will have a high energy efficiency rating. Other factors authorities will consider include how many people live in the apartment, children under 14 and past electricity per person, to calculate the impact of the installation.

According to a statement by Sector 1, the estimated cost of a single installation per apartment is just over 3,000 euros with Sector 1 obliging to foot 90% of the bill. The remaining 300 euros can be paid in instalments for a period of 10 years, rounding up to around 2 euros, per apartment, per month.



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