About 60% of Slovenia’s houses have the potential to be renovated so that they use almost zero-energy; and with an additional solar power plant, these houses can become almost self-sufficient, according to Marko Umberger of the Municipality of Ljubljana (Slovenia). This was among the insights shared during a workshop last month in ICLEI Member Ljubljana on the future of the Slovenian residential renovation market. The aim of the workshop was, ultimately, to explore how this renovation potential could become reality, through the establishment of ‘One-Stop-Shops’ – or Citizen Hubs – that act as information, advice and coordination points for homeowners and renovation stakeholders, foreseen in the EU’s Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.
The workshop shared good practice examples of renovating public buildings in Ljubljana via Energy Performance Contracting (EPC); the development of a legal framework for renovation; a proposed update to the National Energy and Climate Plan; diverse sources of financing for building renovations; the Save the Homes One-Stop-Shop concept, based on experiences from ICLEI Members Rotterdam (the Netherlands) and Valencia (Spain); and how this initiative contributes to Ljubljana’s role as one of the 100 climate-neutral ‘Mission Cities’. Representatives from the Slovenian Municipalities of Kranj, Zagorje ob Savi, and Koper also shared their experiences using public-private partnerships, subsidies and consulting for citizens, and the particularities of each of these methods when used to drive renovation.
Participants discussed the challenge of empty apartments (Slovenia has 11% vacant dwellings, which makes it among the top-five highest rate of empty apartments in the EU), the European commitment to a 15% reduction in gas consumption, energy poverty, the lack of statistical data available on the renovation of residential buildings, and the fact that Slovenian houses are often too big.
Intensive debates led to the conclusion that the Ensvet network – a network of energy consultants whose advice Slovenian citizens can access for free – is best placed to lead the establishment of a One-Stop-Shop in Slovenia. Initial measures will include pushing for joint orders for energy renovation measures to decrease costs and increase efficiency. Local governments expressed considerable interest in the One-Stop-Shop approach, with stakeholders particularly keen on learning more about business models to set-up and sustain a One-Stop-Shop, the definition of performance indicators, and design of monitoring systems.
The workshop, organised by the Municipality of Ljubljana, in cooperation with ICLEI Europe and the Save the Homes project, brought together representatives from the Institute for Innovation and Development of the University of Ljubljana, local communities and government departments.
ICLEI Europe congratulates the City of Ljubljana on hosting such a valuable workshop. Against the backdrop of the energy and climate crises, all stakeholders involved showed great ambition to make Slovenia’s building stock more energy efficient, healthy and comfortable.