Energy Minister George Papanastasiou on Thursday presented the €30 million scheme aiming to increase the use of photovoltaic panels in Cyprus which will in turn reduce home electricity bills.

The revised scheme will be launched in January 2024 and is expected to initially support approximately 6,000 applicants, he announced.

It aims to enable the installation of photovoltaic systems of up to 4.16 kW to existing homes, whose owners lack the initial capital. Eligible applicants are owners of small and medium-sized houses with an average consumption of 1,100kW per two months. No financial criteria will be applied.

Additional funding is provided for applicants to proceed with roof insulation cladding in addition to the grant for thermal insulation.

Applicants for the ‘photovoltaics for all’ scheme will receive pre-approval and will be able to proceed with the installation without an initial capital investment, saving money from the first day of connection, the minister stressed. The system’s repayment starts with bi-monthly charges of €150 through their electricity bill.

An illustration provided during the presentation considered how the plan will benefit a household with a bi-monthly electricity tariff of €370. The presentation explained that following the system’s installation, the bi-monthly bill will decrease to €207. The repayment of the plan will be completed over a period of four to five years. After repayment, the bill will amount to just €57.

Meanwhile, applicants will be able to monitor the repayment details of their system through a specialised computerised system which will be created to record the payments.

Asked about the efficiency of the photovoltaic systems, the minister said that “we will require about a seven-year guarantee” to ensure that the efficacy of the systems installed under the “Photovoltaics for All” would not drop below a certain percentage.

The minister added that other categories for subsidies are also available. The general category includes a subsidy of €375 per kilowatt, with a maximum of €1,500 (4kW). In this scheme, the grant is paid to the applicant. Furthermore, there is also a scheme for people belonging in vulnerable groups. In this case the grant covers 100 per cent for a system up to 5kW and is paid either to the applicant or the installer.

The press conference was attended by representatives of the chairperson of the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) Despina Panayiotou Theodosiou, and the EAC general director, Adonis Yiasemidis.

In her own address, Theodosiou explained that the authority, “in close and productive collaboration with the energy ministry, has established a special team” for the implementation of the “Photovoltaics for Everyone” scheme.

“The transition to green energy, is a vital challenge for Cyprus and every EU member country. It involves a better and more sustainable future for our society and economy. The ‘Photovoltaics for Everyone’ scheme is a bold and essential step toward this common goal,” Theodosiou said.