In Parma the housing stock is responsible for more than 32% of CO2 emissions. The city council has decided to focus on residential buildings as this sector accounts for more than 70% of the building stock. Two specific actions within Parma’s Climate Plan are related to energy retrofits. The first is the renovation of 1,000 condominiums. It has been estimated that through this measure it is possible to avoid 4,500 tons of CO2 emissions by 2020 . The second is to focus on single family houses or apartments.
Homeowners’ low awareness and confidence in energy retrofits Parma citizens do not show a great interest in implementing energy efficient refurbishments. Some of them are afraid to invest as they are not confident in the process and are wary of a poor result after renovation.
The Municipality’s big challenge is to raise public awareness and convince citizens that investing in energy measures is a sensible decision, as it not only limits and decreases the energy use of their homes but also improves the quality, comfort and value of the property.
In condominiums, the decisionmaking process is perceived as the biggest obstacle as it is difficult to reach an agreement that is satisfactory for all owners. In this regard, the municipality notes the importance of involving the condominium managers as the main partners and intermediaries in the internal decision-making process and promotion of energy efficiency measures.
Apart from the non-financial barriers, Parma citizens do not have access to attractive financing. Currently several financial instruments support energy renovation but they are either unattractive or not well known:
The State offers:
A market survey shows that citizens perceive the energy bill reduction, tax deductions and increasing energy prices as the most motivating factors encouraging them to energy retrofit their homes. A free energy audit is also a strong incentive. As regards the loans, 63% of survey respondents found the incentive in the form of a soft loan very attractive. 66% would accept a 0% interest loan, while 34% would be willing to pay at most 2% interest.
In order to raise awareness, provide technical support and offer complementary financing solutions to its citizens, the municipality of Parma:
The municipality together with the Cassa di Risparmio di Parma e Piacenza (Bank Cariparma – Crédit Agricole) set up a financing scheme that provides low-interest loans to home-owners of single individual houses and condominiums, in order to increase energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy in their dwellings.
The Parma Energy Agency that was set up by the Municipality of Parma provides support to homeowners in developing the technical and financial aspects of their energy retrofit projects, selecting craftsmen and implementation of energy saving measures.
Involvement of the municipality and the independent local energy agency adds value and credibility to the energy renovation programme and the soft loan scheme.
|Type of housing||Type of households||Eligible measures|
|-Single family houses|
-The housing unit has
to be the owner’s main
| Parma inhabitants|
Have to pass the
banks’ creditworthiness check
|– Thermal insulation of roofs, walls, glass walls, doors and windows|
– Installation, regulation or replacement of heating systems connected or
not to energy efficient ventilation systems or hot water production.
– Installation of renewable energy sources.
All work must be performed by certified professionals able to deliver a declaration of conformity required by the law.
Only measures going beyond the national energy efficiency standards are
|Cassa di Risparmio di Parma e Piacenza (Cariparma|
|Loan Amount: max €50,000|
Maturity: 5 to 10 years
Interest rate: Variable interest rate; Euribor (3 months) + 2.9%
Current market conditions: Euribor 3 months is negative. Parma homeowners get the interest rate
Not required. The Energy Agency ensures the money is used for energy retrofits and not for another purpose.
|Strong points||Weak points|
|– Management carried out by the bank, less bureaucracy for|
– Impartial technical check made by the Energy Agency
– There is no similar financial product on the market with
such attractive conditions. Given the low interest rate, energy savings and the fiscal deduction, the investments quickly
pay for themselves.
– The presence of the Municipality in this project increases of
– Contribution to the city’s energy transition strategy approved by the City Council
|– Energy retrofits remain a complex issue for homeowners.|
The procedure of a ‘double check’ (technical and financial)
may be seen as overly bureaucratic.
– Requires good coordination among the bank, municipality
and the energy agency and regular meetings
|Recommendations: High quality and continuous marketing campaign|
– The Municipality is working on a project called Sustainable Condominiums that is directed at multi-residential buildings. The
Municipality has signed a protocol with 5 ESCOs whereby they commit to performing energy audits on condominiums, developing and applying EPC contracting and creating a local network of building enterprises, tradespeople, designers and banks.
Comune di Parma
Settore Lavori Pubblici e Patrimonio
L.go Torello de Strada, 11/a – 43121,
+39 0521 4 0521