“In the Czech Republic, roughly seventeen percent of family homes are uninhabited. These are hundreds of thousands of houses that could continue to serve their purpose,” Environment Minister Petr Hladík (KDU-ČSL) cited data from the Czech Statistical Office at a press conference in July, with which he presented a new subsidy that could once again “populate” these older houses.
At that time, representatives of the Ministry of the Environment and the State Environmental Fund (SFŽP) enthusiastically presented the concept of the new subsidy program Repairing Grandma’s House, which was supposed to solve the problem of unused real estate. If the applicant fulfills the conditions of the subsidy, he will receive money to modernize the property, especially for insulation and modifications that reduce energy consumption.
From the program, which has a total of forty billion crowns “in the treasury”, people can get more than a million crowns for the reconstruction of old family houses. Not only experts, but the entire Czech public expected that interest in taking advantage of the tempting offer would be enormous.
“It must be emphasized that this is a long-term program, people do not need to worry that the funds in the program will not be enough. That way, there is no need to apply on the exact day of the start of receiving applications, the finances will be available in a week, a month and a year,” Minister Petr Hladík reassured the public in the summer.
Petr Valdman, the head of the State Environmental Fund, which has a subsidy program under his control, told SZ Byznys that “40 billion crowns will be used for projects implemented after 2026”.
Clash with reality
However, according to the current data of SFŽV on subsidy applications, it seems that the interest of applicants resembles a slow decline instead of a sprint.
“We have received 418 applications in the Repair house after grandmother program since the program was launched at the end of September. Of these, two-thirds of the applications have already been approved and the rest are being assessed,” informed SZ Byznys Lucie Früblingová, press spokesperson of the State Environmental Fund of the Czech Republic.
According to her, if the current pace of accepted applications is maintained, a billion crowns could be paid out of the grandmother’s subsidy program at the end of the year.
“We already register several hundred applications, which we consider to be an excellent result,” he adds.
Fix up grandma’s house
- A new subsidy program prepared by the Ministry of the Environment and the State Environmental Fund. It is part of New Green Savings.
- It is based on the fact that there are many uninhabited houses in villages and cities and there is no need to build so many new ones, but to support repairs.
- Households will be able to receive up to one million CZK to insulate a family or holiday house, or to build a house on the site of the original construction. The applicant will receive the subsidy in advance, at the same time people will be able to use a preferential loan from the building society.
- The program also promises a bonus for families with children. Each dependent child of the applicant will receive a discount of 50,000. CZK.
- The subsidy is financed from the Modernization Fund, i.e. from the money of the European Union. In total, 55 billion crowns are prepared for subsidies from New Green Savings.
Source: Ministry of the Environment
One billion crowns by the end of the year
Despite the satisfaction of the SFŽP, the numbers speak clearly. If the receipt of applications continues at this rate in the future, the state could pay out approximately four billion crowns annually for this type of reconstruction, i.e. a tenth of the total amount that is available for subsidy.
Given that the state expects the life of the program to last until 2030, if requests were to develop at the same pace, up to twelve billion crowns may remain in the fund’s coffers.
Any funds from the European Union Modernization Fund that would remain in the program at the end of 2030 could, however, according to the spokesperson of the state fund, be transferred to other subsidy programs falling under the New Green Savings.
Milan Jaukl from the company Stav Group, which mediates project proposals, project management, subsidy matters, and the reconstruction itself, confirms the lower interest compared to the original expectation.
“The interest in the subsidized title to repair the grandmother’s house is not as great as expected, at the moment we are administering dozens of applicants,” he told SZ Byznys.
Strict acceptance conditions
And the lower interest is also confirmed by Jiří Svoboda, head of the Czech heat pump manufacturer Master Therm. According to him, the reason is the too harsh conditions for obtaining a subsidy.
“For example, the requirement of a ten-year permanent residence in the property or the condition that applicants may not own another property are probably too strict in the case of partial realizations,” he said.
In order to receive a subsidy, in the case of the Repair a house after grandma program, in contrast to New Green Savings or New Green Savings Light, the property must be insulated. And precisely because of this condition, many interested parties focused their attention on NZÚ.
“Not every interested party plans a complex house renovation, which is precisely what Oprav dům po báčka is targeting, we then directed them to the Standard NZÚ program or NZÚ Light, which allow you to draw a subsidy, for example, only to replace windows or to insulate only selected structures of the house,” explained Lucie Früblingová, press spokesperson of the State Environmental Fund of the Czech Republic.
This is also confirmed by data from the company Master Therm, which produces heat pumps.
“As a result, the interest in support from New Green Savings is several times higher than in the case of the Grandma’s House Repair program,” says company director Jiří Svoboda regarding their request.
On the other hand, the company Dům na zelenová, which handles subsidy applications, has seen a high level of interest from clients. “An important aspect for clients is that in the case of this subsidy title, the funds are paid in advance and there is also a bonus of 50,000 crowns for each dependent child,” said Aleš Makový, the company’s executive.
However, according to the SFŽP spokesperson, the conditions for obtaining a subsidy in the “after grandma” program could change over time.
“After the first six months, we will evaluate the program and consider possible adjustments to the conditions. In the past, we responded to the needs of other programs in a similar way, such as the extension of the NZÚ Light subsidy,” said Lucie Früblingová.
Requests will increase
However, new applications for subsidies should begin to increase more quickly from next year. “Regarding the future, we believe that interest in the possibilities of investing in renovations and energy savings will continue to increase. We expect a greater wave of interest in subsidies, especially in the spring, when the construction season begins,” says the spokesperson of the state fund.
According to her, the planned launch of preferential loans from building societies, which applicants will be able to use for their renovations, could also increase interest. They should offer an interest rate of between three and four percent for the reconstruction of older family houses within the program. Savings banks will also offer property owners a fixed interest rate for the entire maturity period.
However, specific details have not yet been published. Some owners of family houses who are considering the use of a subsidy for home insulation are therefore waiting for clear conditions to be established.