In order to meet its long-term building renovation targets, the municipality of Riga decided to set up a one-stop-shop that provides all necessary information on renovation programs co-financed by the city and other actors. In 2018, the city also established a pilot fund of €500,000 that allocates grants to condominiums. These can cover up to 50% of costs for energy renovation works. Through the grant scheme, the municipality hopes to raise citizens’ awareness and motivation to renovate their homes. Between 2017 and 2020, 154 multi-apartments buildings have been renovated; however, these were not deep renovation projects.
A subcontracted company performs an energy audit, financed at 80% by the municipality and 20% by the flat owners. Then, the one-stop-shop recommends implementing certain energy efficiency measures, provides recommendations on quality standards and pricing for construction works. In the best case scenario (deep renovation), the homeowners can reach up to 50% energy savings, thereby
decreasing his overall utility bill by 40%. The one-stop-shop advises flat owners on the project financing, using their own resources, available subsidies and other financing means. It also provides assistance for the preparation of the application to the municipal subsidy scheme.
The one-stop-shop does not provide a list of professionals – as a public body, it cannot promote particular suppliers – and it is not engaged in the procurement process. Flat owners decide on their own which company they want to hire for the renovation works.
The one-stop-shop provides condominiums with a subsidy covering up to 50% of the renovation costs. The maximum timeframe to use the grant is one year but in case of more complex projects (e.g. deep renovation), this might be extended by one more year. There are three main requirements to receive the co-financing. The condominiums must have at least 8 flats and no debts on taxes related to housing. Owners should be organised in a cooperative in order to reduce
administrative procedures and to be able to manage the renovation process independently. The idea is to shift the control and management of the building from the municipality to homeowners. Individual homeowners are not eligible for a grant. In addition, collectively, homeowners can get a bank loan to finance the remaining 50% of the costs more easily. Homeowners’ cooperatives contract directly with suppliers. In order to encourage the setting-up of cooperatives, the municipality provides them with 90% tax discount for 2 years. The city of Riga allocated €500,000 in 2018, €685,000 in 2019 and €1,000,000 in 2020 to the subsidy scheme.