Online tool to apply for incentives for energy rehabilitation of buildings
Andalusia is a long 87.000 region Km2 Spanish region, being the most populated region with more than 8.4 million people. The journey by car from the most distant village to the Agency headquarters can take up to 4h30’.
The Andalusian Energy Agency, the management entity of the Incentives Programme for Sustainable Construction, set a 100% online tool to request and justify grants to avoid inequalities and the need to physically go to the desk to apply for. The tool facilitates the access to the incentives, lowering documentary obligations and paper usage.
Even those beneficiaries that cannot access the high-speed band internet were not discouraged to apply, given that the Programme was fully developed with the collaboration of +8.300 private companies, “collaborating partner companies” liaising in integrative public-private collaboration with the Agency in the management and processing of incentives, which facilitated the administrative procedures to request incentives by end users. Indeed, the application process was covered by the collaborating company in 90% of applications.
When accessing the online tool, the applier accesses a simple self-explanatory guide with a high degree of usability.
Most benefitted stakeholders were the final beneficiaries of the grants, able to apply online for a grant. Also, the collaborating companies reported an increase of activity and the Agency itself was benefitted with less bureaucratic tasks thanks to the paperless procedure.
The implementation of the online simplified tool is approximately 202,000€. The budget includes the analysis, development, and implementation of the different elements for the processing of the applications, maintenance and various works in terms of security and confidentiality of information.
Evidence of success
Data from the general performance of the Programme:
• 60.000 engaged households (7.000 in risk of energy poverty), 600 neighbourhood communities and 2.500 companies, many of them SMEs.
• 422 million kWh/year saved
• 26.000 toe primary energy saved or diversified through low-carbon energy sources.
• 86.000 ton/year CO2 avoided.
• 36.000 energy improvement actions have been carried out.
• Total investment outcome: 258 million €.
• Total energy economic saving: 320 million €.
Although there was a phone assistance service, untrained computer users as elderly people are potentially less successful to finish the application process.
Rural areas are discriminated due to low-speed internet access.
Potential for learning or transfer
• The 100% online procedure erases inequalities regarding the beneficiaries’ residence.
• There is a simpler single self-explanatory application procedure with a high degree of usability and self.
• It facilitates access to the incentives, lowering documentary obligations and paper usage.
• The application process and administrative complexity burden is often totally covered by the collaborating company, avoiding a headache to the citizens and, therefore, making easier and more successful the final application of funds.
• It is necessary to locate a nearby collaborating company when internet access is not available.
Lessons learned: A correct server architecture, Operative System, and beta versions should be tested before. Just minutes after the application period was open, the system was overwhelmed with dense internet traffic from multiple sources, making the tool unavailable especially for beneficiaries from far places and rural areas or densely populated áreas.
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