ECONOMY

Pilot power push for households

Based on an agreement signed on Thursday, about 1,000 households will be able to upgrade the energy efficiency of their home, without paying up front for it, as the payment of the investment will be spread over time and made every two months via electricity bills.

In the presence of Prime Minister George Papandreou and Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Tina Birbili, the agreement was signed by PPC CEO Arthouros Zervos and the head of the Center for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving (CRES), Mattheos Santamouris, which sees the program running on a test basis in five Athens areas: Aghios Dimitrios, Ilioupoli, Kaisariani, Peristeri and Palaio Faliro.

It will allow households to upgrade their energy efficiency with a limited initial cost, while also providing the shrinking economy with a lift, boosting innovation and competitiveness and protecting the environment.

Additionally, it will fuel business activity in related sectors, such as companies that provide the environmentally friendly technology and services and those that install the equipment.

Forty-seven businesses have said they want to take part in the program and many of these are from abroad, meaning they will bring with them advanced technical know-how and capital amounts.

Meanwhile, data showed that growth rates in Greece?s installed renewable energy sources (RES) were minimal in March.

The latest figures provided by the Hellenic Transmission System Operator (DESMIE) showed that the country?s RES capacity grew by 107 megawatts in March, mostly due to new wind parks and solar power installations.

On a geographical basis, most wind parks are installed on the island of Evia, off central Greece, and in the Peloponnese, which also accommodates many solar-powered plants. A number of photovoltaic systems have also been installed in Central Macedonia, northern Greece.