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Monday 11.12.2017 | Name days: Valdis, Voldemārs, Valdemārs

EM: Municipal elections interfere with thermal insulation of buildings

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Аuthor: Gatis Dieziņš/LETANow would be a good time to begin a social campaign to inform residents about opportunities for thermal insulation of buildings in Riga. However, this is largely interfered by the upcoming municipal elections, in light of which this type of activity would be interpreted as a pre-election campaign of one of the parties, Economy Ministry’s (EM) parliamentary secretary Vilnis Kirsis reports.

According to him, the situation with this winter’s massive heating bills makes for good grounds to motivate residents to think about their building’s energy efficiency. “The work began by the media should be continued. Society has an increased interest in the problem of thermal insulation and are now more interested to listen to offers. There should also be people that motivate and encourage them. If this is not done by the municipality or house managers, it needs to be done by someone else,” – Kirsis believes.

According to him, now is a good time to talk about energy efficiency again, because spring is about to begin, and bills for utilities will reduce. People will become open to new offers. The goal of politicians is not turning people against municipalities or house managers, but entirely the opposite – unite them in order to help people reduce their heating bills next year. “I was told that everything usually stops at the point of the meetings. I do not believe the situation is so dire. It is all simply because something is done incorrectly. Residents and apartment owners are clients who should present their house managers different objectives. For example: not just inform residents about meeting times and places, but also timely prepare letters that would contain previously discussed the opportunities, risks and benefits of different thermal insulation processes”, – Kirsis explains. He especially emphasizes that there is a lot of small nuisances. The overall communication process is done incorrectly as a whole. This could be one of the main reasons for thermal insulation failures in Riga.

Reform Party’s Riga Mayor candidate Inga Antane had previously noted that “it is possible to carry out energy inspections of all standard project buildings in Riga within one year and develop separate thermal insulation projects for each type of houses.”

“Municipalities should have done this a long time ago. It requires neither large investments nor a long time to carry out. And it would prove to be a real step toward thermal insulation of buildings and smaller heating bills”, – Antane said.

In 2008, the Riga Energy Agency (REA) began an energy audit in Riga, but it was not carried out systematically and consequently. “10 000 LVL were allotted for energy audit measures to the carried out for 20 houses in 2008. There is a total of 15 different types of apartment buildings in Riga. With that, given the project in Ziepniekkalns and its 160 000 LVL funding, it would be enough to just carry out audits and project development. A step toward renovated and thermally insulated buildings would look much better than cracked and ruined façades”, – Antane notes.

According to her, if other Latvian municipalities have managed to progress their thermal insulation projects, then this is possible in Riga as well.

As it is known, EU finances are allowed to be requested for renovation projects. It is possible to receive 50% to 60% of co-financing from the EU structural funds.


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  1. meetings says:

    Kirsis himself seems to prepare for elections – all his publicity is directed to pay attention to him. Would be ok, if he would be aware of real situation, but he’s just making theoretical arguments.

    Would he’ve been organizing just a single meeting, he would notice that people just ignore these meeting disregarding any invitation letters, explanations… Depression is very high in this society, people just see increasing heating bills, which are too big to pay, and Kirsis advises to take credits in banks… Great!

    Instead, Kirsis should take statistics of renovated buildings – how much annualy people paid before renovation, and how much – after. Annualy, not just in winter, because credit payments have to be paid all the year. And show this statistics in mass media – can people trust you saying that bills will not get higher after renovation??? People need to take informed decisions, not just believe you or other politicians.

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