March 25, 2023

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Who risks paying huge bills or staying out in the cold in winter. Experts’ tips for energy saving

In just a few hours after the launch of the second program called “Renovation Wave”, more than 1,500 funding applications were submitted.

Their total value is twice the amount provided by the authorities. It is about one billion euros of European money for the renovation of blocks of flats and public buildings.

A hard winter is expected, with high electricity and gas bills, and the most vulnerable are the Romanians who live in non-insulated blocks of flats.

Man: “We put another blanket on us. I still let go when I’m in the kitchen, cooking and staying there longer, but when I come here I can’t anymore, I have to take my robe on.”

It’s the only plan a man has for the coming winter. He lives in an old non-insulated block in the 6th sector of the Capital. He changed his windows, but still loses heat through the walls.

Man: “They were wooden and I changed them, I said maybe it’s more…, but no, it’s cold. I don’t know how we will get out of this situation”.

A situation in which more than 20% of Romanians are, according to studies.

Man: “Inside we did what we could. The walls are colder than the cave walls.The whole corner is mine, so I have all the walls out. We are still trying with a radiator as much as possible, but it will increase the cost of lighting too much.”

What tips do the experts have to save on energy bills

If you don’t have the money to renovate your home, the experts have some tips.

Cătălin Chirvasă, technical director: “To check if the sealing gaskets are damaged or not, to change them. For those with houses, checking the thermal insulation, especially at the top of the building, like bridges, attics, because there are heat losses there. And along with the joinery and the front doors, too.”

Heat losses lead to home damage over time. Due to temperature differences, in houses that do not have proper insulation, mold appears, for example. The data show that 32% of Romanians face such problems inside their homes.

We find examples at every step.

Sorin Lăpădatu, manager of an installation and construction company: “One thermally insulated part, one area without thermal insulation – thermal bridge. There is a difference of more than 10 degrees, in the winter at low temperatures – quite a lot – enough for moisture to appear.”

Those who want to insulate their home on their own pay between 4,000 and 6,000 euros for a two-room apartment. Attention, however, such works can only be done in the case of small blocks of several floors. For the others, the authorities launched the “Renovation Wave” program, but in the first hours funding requests of over two billion euros were submitted, double the amount allocated.

The European Union wants to take more measures to combat energy poverty

And in Brussels, the authorities want to take more measures to support the population.

Dragoș Pîslaru, MEP: “We are introducing some measures to help vulnerable households, those in energy poverty or in the short term to have resources. Micro-investments are targeted, that is, practically, to be able to make your home more efficient, to install thermal insulation, but also to be able to mount solar panels, to be able to adopt heat pumps, to be able to adopt other energy sources.”

At European level, people in 50 million households live in energy poverty, meaning they cannot heat their homes in winter.

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