By Peter Stevenson
NICOSIA Municipality will be paying half the cost of energy checks which will be carried out in 25 homes in the capital as part of a new action plan to widen the use of renewable energy sources.
The plan aims at reducing CO2 emissions in Nicosia by 20 per cent by the year 2020, in accordance with an EU-wide programme that aims to reduce harmful emissions in home, industrial or public use.
The municipality explained that homes in Cyprus carry a significant charge for their energy needs with the largest of those being electricity, heating fuel or liquid gas. Bills tend to range between €1,800 and €3,000 a year and possibly more for certain households, the municipality added.
“In the majority of cases, households can save energy and money just by adopting some good conservation practices and changing some of their habits,” it said.
In certain cases, savings can reach up to 25 per cent without reducing the quality of life and without any additional cost.
“Energy checks are easily carried out, with the use of small mobile equipment and do not last longer than an hour, taking the form of a discussion on the habits of the home owners on their use of energy,” the municipality said.
Once the check is completed, home-owners will know where energy is being wasted in the house and by improving certain habits following recommendations from expert staff from the Energy Office, will know how much energy they can save.
Financially viable suggestions will also be made to make changes that will upgrade the house to ensure further savings on energy bills.
“The staff will use a programme to calculate what savings can be made from various measures and advice,” the municipality said.
From a pilot programme of energy checks already carried out it was found that savings of between eight and 15 per cent can be made without any additional financial burden on the household.
Residents who are interested in taking part in the programme will need to fill out the relevant application form and send it to the municipality by Friday, February 28.
The application can be sent via fax on 22667736 and for more information the public can call the municipality directly on 22797198 or the Energy Office on 22667716. A draw will take place in the event that more than 25 homes apply to take part in the energy check.
The cost of an energy check is normally €80, with €40 being paid by the resident and the other €40 to be subsidised by the municipality.
Applications from Nicosia Municipality employees or their family members will not be accepted.