The so-called Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan of the Spanish Economy, through which the arrival of 72,000 million European funds will be channeled, will contemplate aid to rehabilitate homes for which the owners will obtain between 35% and 100% of the cost of building improvement works.
With some 5,800 million destined in different rehabilitation programs and the focus placed on energy efficiency, it is one of the main lines of the plan that will be supervised this Tuesday by the inter-ministerial monitoring commission and that Pedro Sánchez will present tomorrow in Congress.
The bulk of the money for rehabilitation, 70% of the planned item, will go to housing.
The rest will go to the improvement of public buildings and will be distributed equally between, on the one hand, the General State Administration and, on the other, city councils and autonomous communities.
The latter have the competences in housing and will be responsible for launching the specific programs so that the rehabilitation aid reaches the owners based on the guidelines established by the Executive.
The Government contemplates three main branches.
One is the existing Building Energy Rehabilitation Plan (PREE), which the Ecological Transition launched last year with an endowment of 300 million.
As the European aid allowed the inclusion of ongoing actions, this program will be included in the recovery plan.
However, it is a project that expires this year and from now on the energy rehabilitation will be inserted in the other two programs that the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda has designed.
One focuses on the demographic challenge and will target populations of less than 5,000 inhabitants.
The other will be of a general nature for larger municipalities.
The latter is the one that monopolizes the most funds and in turn contemplates various actions depending on the scale: it will allow undertaking works in buildings or in entire neighborhoods.
In buildings, normally communities of owners, the subsidies will range from 35% to 70% depending on the cost of the work and the energy savings it entails, according to sources from Transport.
To encourage owners to do the work, projects in which the cost of the reform takes longer to be amortized will receive more financing, with what will later be saved on electricity or gas bills.
The energy savings required to release subsidies will be at least 30%.
This is the minimum that Europe establishes to give aid and, according to a source in the sector, it is an "undemanding" bar.
The Commission itself only speaks of deep rehabilitation when energy savings exceed 60%.
But the rehabilitation will not only include installations, solar panels, windows or facades: it will also be possible to make improvements to accessibility, for example by putting up elevators.
In whole neighborhood regeneration projects, which not only include improvements to buildings but also to the urban environment, the aid may range from 70% to 100%.
The maximum subsidy, explain the sources of Transport, is designed for certain urban areas, with profiles of social exclusion among their neighbors, who could hardly afford this type of project.
And as long as there is also no possibility of financing a part through energy companies.
These may offer to finance the unsubsidized part of the work from the savings that will later be achieved.
That is, it would be paid little by little on the invoice.
The Executive expects construction companies, energy companies or even banks to associate and process projects en bloc, including planning, construction and the management of aid.
Thus the neighbors would only pay their share and would not take care of anything else.
This would speed up the plans and allow them to be scaled up.
In addition to direct aid, the recovery of tax deductions for rehabilitation is also being studied.
These would be 30% if the work achieves a certain energy saving and would reach 60% if the work is able to improve the energy rating of the house (according to the current seven-letter scale).
Municipal offices to streamline projects
Even before the pandemic, the poor rehabilitation figures in Spain (some 30,000 homes are improved a year, well below other neighboring countries) made the Government look for formulas to promote these policies.
One of the reasons, in addition to meeting the European decarbonisation target for 2050, is that these investments boost the economy due to the employment they generate (in direct labor and in suppliers, almost always local).
Paradoxically, it was the coronavirus crisis (and the aid approved by Europe) that gave the backing to a more ambitious roadmap that will stimulate employment and the economy: Spain wants to rehabilitate 500,000 homes in three years.
For this it is necessary to roll the programs fast.
For this reason, in addition to allowing companies to fully manage projects, the plan includes opening municipal offices for information and processing of aid.
Another important leg to quickly mobilize rehabilitation is that of public buildings.
The Executive will publish a manifestation of interest for the communities to say which properties they want to improve.
Schools and hospitals will be a priority, although industry sources point out that in both cases these are complex interventions.