At the beginning of this year, on 16−18 of January, Tartu Regional Energy Agency hosted the partners of two Interreg Europe projects, the Social Green Project and FINERPOL, in Tartu (Estonia).

During three freezingly cold winter days, 50 specialists from 13 European countries had several study visits and talks about energy efficient renovation of residential buildings in different countries. The guests were introduced to Estonia’s successful experience with the Kredex financial scheme and its results, plus the initiatives in Tallin city in relation to municipal housing.

The meeting lasted three days, two of them were spent in Tartu, the third one in Tallin. The joint seminar of Social Green and FINERPOL was opened on 16th of January by the deputy mayor of Tartu, Mr Raimond Tamm. He welcomed the participants on behalf of city government and introduced briefly the trends of Tartu city in increasing the energy efficient building (including the municipally owned buildings). Additionally. Mr Tamm gave a brief overview of international projects in which Tartu city is involved and that is linked to implementing the smart city concept.

Mr Raimond Tamm, the deputy mayor of Tartu is greeting the participants and introducing the trends of energy efficient managing of municipal housing in Tartu city.

The coordinator of Social Green project, Mr Ryan Weber from Nordregio, introduced the objectives, activities and expected results of the project.

From FINERPOL project, the Extremadura Energy Agency (AGENEX) project officer Mr Javier Ordoñez Muñoz also reviewed the project in general. In the core presentation "Financing energy efficiency in multi-apartment buildings in Estonia", the main focus was on issues related to the financing of apartment buildings and the support offered by Kredex. Mr Suu, the representative from Kredex, presented the background of grants for apartment buildings and the story of reshaping the conditions over the years. He also gave the detailed overview of support requirements and the results of the grants usage so far.

During the study visits in Tartu, two dwelling houses were introduced that were recently renovated with the help of Kredex grant.

Visiting the 18-apartment house that was originally built in the beginning of 1970’s and renovated thoroughly in 2016−2017 with the support of Kredex grant.

In Tallin, the guests were presented with the orientations of Tallinn City Government in relation to the development of municipal housing. The guests got to know about and visit the newly-built Teachers Home and the Tallinn University of Technology dormitory building that was renovated by using several innovative solutions. One of the new technologies used in the project was, for example, insulating the building with the panels that were pre-fabricated in a factory. “The energy-efficient renovation of the housing stock is an actual topic throughout Europe and its funding is organized differently from one country to another, while the problems stay quite similar: in areas with a declining population where the real estate market does not function properly, problems with the renovation of the housing stock are, in any case, problematic,” says the project manager and energy expert of Tartu Regional Energy Agency, Mr. Neeme Kärbo.

“During these three days of being together, we had a great opportunity to discuss this subject in an Europe-wide company, while also introducing our Estonian and very well-functioning Kredex support system along with the local trends in municipal and social housing in two bigger cities of Estonia.” Mr Ryan Weber, the researcher and project specialist of Nordregio: “The Social Green Project was grateful for the opportunity to hold a seminar and study visit in Estonia. For many of our partners, the success of KredEx provides an excellent overview of a successful financing model for the housing sector. They are working together with other regional and national actors in their country to develop a similar model, which can be used to allocate European funds to the retrofit of public and privately owned housing.”  With a load of new ideas and knowledge from shared experience, the guests could say that the study visits and meetings were a success, despite the occasionally unpleasant winter weather.