The European Commission, through CINEA (European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency), has granted an extension of the AGREE project for 12 months, until August 2023.
This means that the AGREE project is entering its last year to promote, through innovative management and funding methods, renovation work on residential buildings to improve energy efficiency.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the normal development of all the projects carried out by Basque institutions which, like AGREE, involve a high level of direct interaction with citizens. The initial schedule for the AGREE Project, which was supposed to end in August 2022, was affected by the difficulties in 2020 and 2021 to hold face-to-face meetings with citizens and residents’ associations.
As well as these problems, the pandemic delayed renovation work and the execution of renovation projects in housing and buildings.
Lastly, the measures implemented by the European Commission to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economic driving forces in Europe, through the exceptional temporary recovery instrument called Next Generation EU and the Recovery and Resilience Facility, have generated a series of public initiatives that directly affect the main objective of the AGREE project: to foster investment in the energy renovation of private residential buildings by facilitating, through innovative management and funding methods, the emergence of demand for this type of building renovation work.
Specifically, one of the most noticeable impacts of the exceptional European recovery instrument has been the recent publication of the Order of 21 June 2022 of the Regional Minister of Territorial Planning, Housing and Transport, regarding the Next Generation Fund grants for renovation work on buildings, housing and building logbook/renovation projects to improve the energy efficiency of residential buildings. This Decree establishes a new regulatory framework to access funding for the renovation work promoted by AGREE, and it has a very clear positive effect on the development of the project.
In this context, last February the AGREE Steering Committee launched the process to ask CINEA to amend the AGREE Funding Agreement in order to extend the deadline approved in summer 2019 by 12 months. After a laborious process to justify this request, AGREE received approval from the European Commission.
Thanks to this, the current phases of the project can now be completed by August 2023. These are the most important activities to be carried out in the current phases of the project:
- Explanatory meetings with residents’ associations
- Stakeholder meetings and closing of agreements/commitments
- Commissioning and project development
- Application for licences and grants
- Resolution and awarding of grants
- Promoting the AGREE Academy