The government on Thursday outlined a series of measures aimed at slashing energy consumption in the public sector by 30% through 2030, starting with a more modest target of 10% in the short-term.
Following a meeting with officials from the ministries Energy and Interior, Deputy Finance Minister Theodoros Skylakakis explained the broad strokes of the plan, which hinges on offering incentives to departments showing a reduction in their energy bills by increasing their funding from the state budget.
According to the general secretary for energy, Alexandra Sdoukou, the cost of powering the general government’s 212,000 facilities came to 596 million euros in 2020, with electricity consumption at around 4,450 gigawatt hours (GWh). That rose to 956 million euros with 5,346 GWh in 2021 and is expected to jump to around 1.17 billion euros this year at the same level of consumption, due to runaway energy prices.
The steps public sector departments and services will need to take include assigning an “energy officer” to ensure that all lights and appliances like air-conditioning units are not left on at the end of the workday.
Department directors will also be encouraged to keep up with the maintenance of their offices’ cooling and heating systems, to rely more on natural ventilation and to install curtains and blinds where needed to provide more shade.
Municipal authorities, meanwhile, will be asked to reduce public lighting by 35-40% and to start replacing older bulbs with energy-saving ones.
Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas also said that a program to upgrade state buildings to they use less energy and produce fewer greenhouse emissions will start in July.
The program has a budget of 640 million euros, drawn from the European Union’s recovery fund and the state’s Consignment Deposit and Loans Fund.
The aim of the two programs is to slash state spending on energy, but also to bring Greece closer to EU emission reduction targets.