Spains near zero energy buildings

€40m loan to build Spain’s near zero energy buildings

The European Investment Bank will finance the construction of energy efficient social housing in Spain.
Published: Tue 19 Sep 2017

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The loan will help facilitate access to affordable social housing in the metropolitan areas of Navarre. The 524 units, totalling 78,000m2 of housing, will be nearly zero energy buildings (NZEB) which means they will have a very low energy consumption owing to their design and the materials used in their construction. The new units will be built in the next three years.

The agreement is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the main plank of the European Commission's Investment Plan for Europe, also known as the Juncker Plan.

The implementation phase will run until 2020 and the loan will be managed by NASUVINSA, the public agency responsible for urban development and social housing projects in Navarre.

Efficient and affordable

All units will meet high energy efficiency standards in line with the EU energy performance directive that will come into force in 2020, which will require all new buildings to be nearly zero-energy.

Thanks to the type of construction and the use of renewable energies, the units built under the project will consume up to 75% less energy than conventional housing. In addition, tenants will pay less to stay warm in winter because heating costs will be 90% less than for buildings that are 30 years or older. Average costs for the efficient new units will be €75 a year compared to €785 a year for an old building.

The new buildings will be used for affordable rented housing which will contribute to social integration and urban regeneration. The main aim of the project is to provide young people and low income earners with housing which falls in line with current social housing legislation in Navarre.

Smart investment

According to Miguel Arias Cañete, the Commissioner responsible for Climate Action and Energy, the project is a “smart investment” because people’s quality of life will be improved, energy consumption will be reduced and jobs will be created.

EIB Vice-President Román Escolano said that the finance agreement combines two of the EIB’s priorities: fostering social integration in the European Union and helping to reduce the effects of climate change. 

The President of Navarre, Uxue Barkos, stressed that the EIB’s backing would enable Navarre “to continue pioneering progressive rental and energy efficiency policies and spearheading social innovation in the housing sector”. She added that the “agreement’s recognition and support for bold housing policies which are helping to transform a reality that unfortunately has been too determined by the bricks and mortar development culture in recent years, and helping to ensure that the public authorities turn their attention to people’s real needs and to the whole of society’s right to quality housing, whatever their origin, level of rent or family situation”.

ICO’s CEO, Pablo Zalba, stressed that it is a matter of priority to continue working to promote the implementation of this EU initiative in Spain.

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