With a view to promoting effective and open cooperation, on 4 March, the Ministry of Economics, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development and 34 national regulatory authorities, non-governmental organisations and state capital companies signed a Memorandum of Cooperation pledging to jointly ensure the availability of information on the possibilities for the renovation, reconstruction and improvement of buildings (residential, public and manufacturing).
Ralfs Nemiro, the Minister of Economics: “The word “energy efficiency” is no longer a foreign word today. Investment in energy efficiency measures boosts business productivity and competitiveness, while investment in renovation of buildings can save energy sources and boost solvency of the population. Being aware of the importance of improving energy efficiency also in achieving the European Union’s overall energy and climate objectives, the Ministry of Economics, together with experts from different sectors, continues to discuss the best solutions, action lines and work to be done for the next ten years”.
10 years ago, on 25 February 2010, the Ministry of Economics, representatives of non-governmental organisations and representatives of the financial sector signed the first Memorandum of Cooperation agreeing on joint work to promote the renovation of housing, as well as launching the “Live warmer” movement, bringing together representatives of house managers, manufacturers of construction materials, construction companies, the financial sector and public government representatives to achieve common objectives.
Juris Pūce, Minister of Environment Protection and Regional Development: “I am pleased with the willingness of the parties concerned to cooperate and to engage in joint work to achieve Latvia’s objectives towards climate neutrality. Energy efficiency is one of the most important ways of reducing greenhouse gases, so our climate priorities and our strong commitment to the European Union’s energy efficiency objectives can only be achieved through effective and open cooperation both in public administration and in changing habits of society.”
During these 10 years, the “Live warmer” movement has expanded, providing information not only on the practical aspects of renovating multi-apartment houses and on available state aid, but also on solutions to improve the energy performance of businesses and public buildings.
The partners of the “Live warmer” movement have implemented a series of activities in these 10 years for informing and educating the public – more than 400 different information events have been organised, annual participation in housing, construction, energy and environmental exhibitions have been ensured, as well as a contest “Most Energy Efficient Building in Latvia” has been organised. More than 46,000 participants have participated in these activities, which have provided nearly 900,000 people with education through further dissemination of information. By applying the methodology for calculating the expected savings (ex-ante), we can conclude that the contribution of the “Live warmer” movement to the mandatory target of 2020 (taking into account the savings obtained and projected over a period from 2014 to 2020) is 1.8% or more than EUR 13.8 million in energy savings. Total CO2 savings of 24,991 t and energy savings of 241 GWh have been achieved.
By signing the Extended Memorandum of Cooperation, the parties have committed themselves to ensuring the availability of information to apartment owners, entrepreneurs and building managers on sources of funding, including European Union co-financing, possibilities of implementing energy efficiency projects, as well as on the management of multi-apartment residential houses; to inform about the benefits of renovation and reconstruction of buildings, on the importance of well-being (microclimate, acoustics, ventilation, etc.) in buildings, sustainability in construction and maintenance of buildings, innovations, smart solutions and digitisation in construction and energy efficiency, and promoting their development, as well as to inform equipment and support instruments for the production of heat and electricity from renewable energy sources, on the possibilities for the development of local energy communities and renewable energy communities; to educate participants in the construction process on quality conditions for the renovation of buildings, requirements for construction products and technologies for their incorporation; and to promote the attraction of private and public investment for the implementation of energy efficiency measures in residential, public and manufacturing buildings, as well as the development of tax policies promoting energy efficiency.
On 4 March 2020, the EU Green Deal, Latvia’s climate policy and energy sector objectives were discussed at the Energy Efficiency Forum “Change of habits – a small step for big goals” organised by the Ministry of Economics evaluating 10-year results of the “Live warmer” movement.
In the second part of the Forum, “Change of habits – smart choices for economic sustainability”, participants discussed the opportunities and benefits of changing habits for more efficient use of energy sources, shared experience in energy efficiency of offices, schools and multi-apartment buildings and shaping of sustainable thinking habits, and discussed other topics for promoting energy efficiency.