The Government has begun the process to launch the new aid line of 100 million euros for companies and freelancers in the service sector included in the urgent package of energy saving measures approved last Monday by the Council of Ministers. The aid includes subsidies for actions in existing privately owned buildings and for administrative, health, commercial, nursing home, educational, cultural, recreational, restoration, passenger transport, sports and religious use.
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The objective, highlights the Executive, is “to accompany companies in their efforts to increase energy savings and efficiency”. These are subsidies to the private sector (the public has its own aid, charged to the Recovery Plan) to reduce its energy consumption by 10%.
The aid will be financed from the National Energy Efficiency Fund, will be coordinated by the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE), attached to the Ministry for Ecological Transition, and will be granted by the autonomous communities.
The program, from which, in addition to companies and the self-employed, renewable energy communities, energy service companies or communities of owners may benefit, will be in force until 2024. The allocation of 100 million may be increased depending on budget availability.
Among the subsidized actions is the implementation of automation and control systems in the businesses, the use of renewables in heating, cooling and ventilation installations, the replacement of refrigeration appliances for others of high efficiency or more efficient refrigeration installations, always and when they achieve a minimum saving of 10% of final energy, with respect to the existing installation that is reformed, as well as the improvement of the energy efficiency of air conditioning in data processing centers.
The aid will be, in general and depending on the type of actions, between 30% and 60% of the eligible cost for large companies, between 40% and 70% for medium-sized companies and between 50% and 80% for the small ones.
The Government recalls that, since 2010, the law already made it compulsory to have automation systems to keep the doors of establishments closed in the case of not using renewable energy for air conditioning. The new decree includes this obligation for all buildings and premises with access from the street. Businesses have to adapt before September 30, 2022.
Transition, which recalls that the stock of existing buildings consumes around 30% of the final energy, has already put out for consultation the Royal Decree project that regulates the aid program, known as tertiary PREE. This is one of the measures included in the royal decree law on energy saving approved last Monday to comply with the requirements to reduce gas consumption agreed by the EU, which starting next week will oblige businesses, department stores, cinemas, hotels and other establishments to limit air conditioning to 27 degrees in summer and heating to 19 degrees in winter.
The package of measures, which also includes the turning off of shop windows at night, has received harsh criticism from the government of the Community of Madrid. The regional Executive has already threatened to take them to the Constitutional Court. This has forced the PP to strike a balance so as not to disavow the Madrid president, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, nor its own leader, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, who called for a similar plan 10 days ago.
The measures are aimed at reducing final energy consumption and helping to meet the objective established in the Extraordinary Council of Energy Ministers on July 26, which should be complemented with new saving measures already in September.
Faced with the threat of a total cut-off of Russian gas supply, the European partners reached a political agreement in July to voluntarily reduce the demand for natural gas by 15% between August 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023 with respect to the average of the same period of the last 5 years. In the case of Spain, the Government has started an objective of reducing gas demand below 7%.