‘Irrinova Darek’ – a scheme for better energy efficiency launched

Last Updated on Monday, 21 February, 2022 at 8:17 pm by Andre Camilleri

A pilot scheme, ‘Irrinova Darek’, for the renovation of privately-owned residential buildings will promote the sustainable regeneration of residential buildings of the Maltese islands and further safeguard our built heritage.

This was announced by Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning Aaron Farrugia together with Parliamentary Secretary for Construction Chris Agius and Building and Construction Authority (BCA) CEO Karl Azzopardi.

The scheme, by the BCA, is available for the renovation of properties within the Grand Harbour district as these localities include buildings that are predominantly energy inefficient and present challenges to renovation.

Minister Farrugia said that government is initially allocating the sum of €600,000 for such an initiative intended to start addressing the national renovation targets for private dwellings in line with the long-term renovation strategy. This first scheme shall act as a baseline to potential further schemes. Minister Farrugia said that such schemes are part of government’s ecological transition and shift towards decarbonisation and more sustainable buildings in Malta.

Parliamentary Secretary Chris Agius explained that this exciting pilot scheme will assist people in investing in clean energy, allowing them to save money and contribute to the country’s continuous efforts to make Malta’s building stock virtually climate-neutral by 2050. “We are committed to continue working on the best measures for cleaner and cheaper energy. We’ll continue to keep families at the heart of our policies while educating people in a manner that will help reduce energy consumption in their homes”, said the parliamentary secretary.

One of the key renovation features is to have an energy performance that is 20% better than Nearly Zero Energy Buildings. Other key features include reducing the energy required for heating to passive house levels, reducing the energy required for cooling and lighting, as well as enabling the integration of renewable energy sources.

“‘Irrinova Darek’ enables the renovation of dwellings to reach the dual aims of reducing the need for heavy usage of energy in homes and turning these into cost-effective units to be sustained by families. The renovations can be tailored to the dwelling’s specific needs and are flexible such that a number of energy efficiency measures, integration of renewable energy sources and associated interventions are made possible”, said BCA CEO Karl Azzopardi.

Applicants are required to register their interest to apply for the scheme with the BCA. Upon registration, eligible applicants will be informed to proceed to engage a registered energy performance assessor for dwellings to proceed with the collation of data, compile information and submit the full application.

Applications will be received from the 1st of March until the 1st of April 2022.

Upon completion of works, up to 90% of the project cost will be disbursed in accordance with the 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 maximum portion disbursed for the works involving the installation of a solar water heater is 50% of the cost.

Through the ‘Irrinova Darek’ scheme, the BCA shall continue its drive to reform the building and construction industry by being committed to building a more sustainable society for all.

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