Greece launches ambitious 2 bln euro building energy plan

In a bid to catch up on lost time, Greece will set up a state company to help government buildings switch over to more energy friendly means, as dictated by EU guidelines, according to Environment and Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis.

Speaking to local government officials on Wednesday in the city of Patras, western Greece, the minister said that a two billion euro loan provided by the European Investment Bank will pay for the switch to less energy demanding buildings used by public authorities, such as schools and hospitals. Energy savings will be created by introducing solar powered energy panels and natural gas power, among other methods, to the government dwellings.

A directive put together by the EU in 2014 aims at ensuring that all new buildings are use nearly zero energy by 2021. New buildings, however, occupied and owned by public authorities must adhere to these tougher energy rules by 2019.

Greece and Spain, have been the two worst performers in preparing for the energy switch over though a number of member states have also been slow in going ahead with the necessary preparations.

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