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Photovoltaic systems on a home's roof can reduce energy costs, because people are producing and using their own electricity

More climate justice in Luxembourg with the Klimabonus scheme

More climate justice in Luxembourg with the Klimabonus scheme

Aimed at low-income households, it should help them with home energy efficiency improvements and the installation of photovoltaic systems

Yesterday, authorities in Luxembourg presented the country’s ‘Klimabonus’ scheme, which should help individual households by funding sustainable renovation projects. This includes insulation, retrofitting heating systems and replacing old boilers.

The aid scheme is particularly aimed at lower income households and should help them to increase the energy efficiency of their homes. Furthermore, it also wants to support households that want to take part in the shift towards renewables and convince more Luxembourgers to move away from damaging consumption practices.

Encouraging sustainability as a choice

Many EU countries are trying to speed up the transition towards renewable energy by mandating landowners and developers to construct buildings with photovoltaic systems from the get-go. Another strategy that many cities have used is to mandate solar panels every time a building needs to go roof repairs, using the opportunity to push more and more residential areas into saving on CO2.

While this approach could prove to be effective at bringing carbon emissions down in the long run, it leaves much to be desired in terms of what many have dubbed a ‘just transition’. This is because, despite solar panels’ recent plummet in costs and the potential to generate your own energy, many homeowners struggle with the rising cost of living. Inevitably, there will be people who put off redeveloping a leaking roof just because they cannot afford the added cost of a PV installation.

This is where Luxembourg’s approach differs, as the Klimabonus programme is voluntary and people can get the financial assistance they need, without being forced into implementing bank-breaking renovations. Coupled with the fact that insulation and heat pumps (both supported by the programme) can bring the energy costs of a household down by quite a bit, Klimabonus specifically aims at targeting energy poverty.

Acting together to emerge from the crisis

The bonus scheme is divided into five categories, each with its own criteria. According to a statement by the government, the bonus system will apply to renovation projects until 2025. Here are the categories:

  • Sustainable mobility;
  • Renewable energies;
  • Protection of biodiversity;
  • Sustainable housing;
  • Targeted aid for low-income households.

Minister for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, Joëlle Welfring, was quoted in a press release, saying: "Klimabonus is an outstretched hand available to everyone. Citizen aid is an element of our strategy to face the climate crisis, but not the only one. The State, the municipalities and the private economy will play their part by laying down a framework facilitating the adoption of good habits. It is by acting together that we will emerge from the crisis."

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