City of Parma encourages citizens to undertake energy renovation work in their homes



Floriane Cappelletti

Publication date

December 17, 2015

The municipality of Parma (Italy) has the ambition to reduce the cost of energy and energy poverty on its territory, while improving its citizens’ quality of life. As early as beginning of 2016, the municipality will launch a set of incentives and measures aimed at motivating citizens and local businesses to energy renovate their homes and buildings. 

Ricerca Sistema Energetico (Energy System Research), in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Development, carried out a study on the building stock in the city of Parma, which consists of 18,671 residential buildings and 80,595 residential units. Via a survey targeting citizens, they also examined the main financial and non-financial barriers to energy renovation of the private building stock.

The decision-making process of condominiums is perceived as the biggest obstacle, followed by the lack of financial resources. In condominiums, it is difficult to reach an agreement with which all owners would be happy. The municipality is aware of the importance of involving the condominium managers as main partners and intermediaries in the internal decision-making and promotion of energy efficiency measures.

Citizens have also expressed the need for incentives to undertake energy efficiency measures. Three incentives are perceived as the most motivating: decrease in the energy bill, tax deduction and the price of energy. Free energy audit is significant as well.

Amongst the 63% of participants in the survey who positively consider soft loans, 66% would accept a 0% interest loan, while a share of 34% would be willing to pay at most 2% of interests.

The Parma municipality has developed an action plan aimed at removing the identified barriers and at mobilising private investments. The city will:

  • Set up an Information Desk for citizens and consumers’ associations
  • Support Condominium Administrators at technical committees – informing them about benefits of energy efficiency measures and providing technical assistance for planning and implementation of energy efficiency measures
  • Delegate management and analysis of energy audits to Parma Energy Agency
  • Create standardised models for energy audits and energy performance contracting
  • Launch a call for expression of interest targeting local banks – future partners of the soft loan scheme.

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