Solar collector and biomass boiler subsidies remain unclaimed

THE SLOVAK government is offering homeowners subsidies to buy solar collectors and biomass-fired boilers – but fewer than expected are taking up the offer. Dagmar Hlavatá of the communications department at the Economy and Construction Ministry said that subsidies totalling €2.375 million had been approved since April 2009, but more than €5.6 million allocated under the programme for this year remains unclaimed, the SITA newswire reported.

THE SLOVAK government is offering homeowners subsidies to buy solar collectors and biomass-fired boilers – but fewer than expected are taking up the offer. Dagmar Hlavatá of the communications department at the Economy and Construction Ministry said that subsidies totalling €2.375 million had been approved since April 2009, but more than €5.6 million allocated under the programme for this year remains unclaimed, the SITA newswire reported.

Of the 2,423 approved applications, 1,998 were for solar collectors and 425 for biomass boilers. The programme is intended to support wider use of biomass and solar energy by households.

The state subsidy covers 30 percent of the purchase price of biomass-fuelled boilers, with grants capped at €1,000. Solar collectors attract support of €200 per square metre of installed area. Households are able to apply for the subsidy only after the equipment installed. The Slovak Innovation and Energy Agency, which administers the programme, has offices in Bratislava, Trenčín, Banská Bystrica and Košice.

Individual house owners may apply for a subsidy for both types of equipment, while multi-unit residential buildings may apply only for solar collectors. The ministry said it expects that about 1,000 jobs related to assembly and maintenance activities to be created or preserved in Slovakia thanks to the subsidy programme.

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