About this good practice
Buildings and construction produce a third of Finland's climate emissions. There are around 5 100 oil-fired buildings in municipal use, with combined emissions of around 150 kilotons of carbon dioxide per year. The government programme sets out to phase out fossil oil heating by the early 2030s, and by 2024 for public buildings. Grants are available to municipalities and municipal-owned enterprises that are part of the municipality's administration and economy. Business enterprises must not be separate legal entities or independent accounting entities. From 7.12.2021, the subsidy will be up to 30-35%, depending on whether the municipality has joined a voluntary Energy Efficiency Agreement. Grants may be awarded for the removal of oil heating systems in municipal properties and their conversion to other forms of heating. The new building-specific heating system must use a non-fossil fuel. The grant will be awarded in accordance with the cost estimate based on the plan. The eligible costs will be the normal costs of design, demolition, recycling, equipment, and installation of the heating system, including the costs of connection, control and automation systems and removal of the oil tank. In this good practice, the stakeholders are the Parliament, the Ministry of the Environment, the ARA, and the municipal officials who make the decisions on the replacement of heating systems.
A total of around 15 million€ has been earmarked for heating renovation grants to municipalities.
Evidence of success
In general, this grant supports the joining of the Energy Efficiency Agreement, whereby municipalities make carbon-neutral actions and invest in energy efficiency in ways other than replacing oil heating. Between 2017 and 2020 600 companies and 112 municipalities have increased their energy efficiency by around 8.9 terawatt hours per year by the end of 2020. The savings achieved are equivalent to the annual energy use of almost 450 000 electrically heated detached houses.
Potential for learning or transfer
ARA´s Aid for municipalities to replace oil heating in municipality owned buildings is part of the Government Programme's objective to phase out fossil oil heating by 2030 and supports the goal of carbon neutrality by 2035. This grant could usefully be added to the government programmes of other regions in the pursuit of carbon neutrality. In addition to the subsidy, an energy efficiency agreement could be included to support more than just the replacement of the heating system. It could also be a subsidy for moving away from a fossil fuel other than oil, such as natural gas, coal, or peat .