One-stop-shop Riga

Location: Riga, Latvia

Population: 632,614 (Municipality of Riga)

Climate: Humid continental

Duration: 2018 – ongoing

Sector: Buildings

Funding sources: Public

City networks:  Covenant of Mayors

Savings: In the best-case scenario (deep renovation), homeowners may save up to 50% on energy costs, resulting in a 40% reduction in total utility bills.

Solutions: Establishment of a one-stop-shop in Riga to increase building’s energy efficiency.

Multiple benefits: Increase in energy savings, as well as financial advisory.

A one-stop shop was established in the city of Riga to help achieve its long-term building renovation goals. That would provide all necessary information about city-funded and other actors’ renovation efforts.

Objective – Covering 50% of the renovation cost with a municipal pilot fund. The purpose of co-financing is to increase the energy efficiency of an apartment building and to provide support for its restoration, thereby increasing the building’s energy efficiency and restoring its technical condition.

The tender “Riga City Municipality co-financing for the renovation of residential houses” was announced with the goal of providing help for energy efficiency measures and residential house renovation. Riga Municipal Agency “Riga Energy Agency” organises the competition [source].

Solutions – 1) Engagement process. The one-stop store is housed in the Riga Energy Agency headquarters and is open to households two days a week. The most convincing rationale for homeowners is potential energy and financial savings, as well as an increase in building value. 2) Energy renovation and financial plan. A subcontracted company does an energy audit, with the municipality financing 80% and the flat owners funding 20%. The one-stop-shop then recommends particular energy-saving strategies, as well as quality criteria and construction cost estimates.

The one-stop-shop advises flat owners on project financings, such as using their funds, available subsidies, and other financial possibilities. It also aids in the preparation of a municipal subsidy plan application. 3) Long-term, low-cost finance. Through the one-stop-shop, condominiums can receive a subsidy of up to 50% of their refurbishment expenditures. There are three basic requirements for receiving co-financing: the condominiums must have at least eight apartments and no outstanding debts on housing-related taxes.

Funding – In 2018, the city established a pilot fund of €500,000 that allocates grants to condominiums. These can cover up to 50% of costs for energy renovation works. The municipality hopes to raise citizens’ awareness and motivation to renovate their homes through the grant scheme. The Riga City Council fully finances the one-stop-shop and does not generate any revenues.

Innovation – 1) Develop and implement comprehensive energy efficiency service packages. 2) The city government incorporates the coordinating business model to establish the one-stop-shop, delivering various benefits. Cities and regions, for example, contain the most up-to-date information on the structures, energy sources, and people in their territories. They are best positioned to provide integrated energy efficiency service packages that are appealing to homeowners in collaboration with their partners [source].

Success factorsThe most difficult challenge was receiving funding and gaining the required political support to build the one-stop-shop. The city’s participation in the European Covenant of Mayors was a suitable beginning point for persuading the City Council.

Significant outcomes:

  • 154 multi-apartments buildings were renovated between 2017 and 2020;
  • The number of energy renovations should double by the end of 2020;
  • In the best-case scenario (deep renovation), the homeowners can reach up to 50% energy savings, thereby decreasing their overall utility bill by 40%.

Synergies with local policies:

  • Sustainable Development Strategy of Riga. At the local level, the municipality of Riga approved Riga’s Development Plan 2030, which includes energy and climate-related measures in the housing sector.
  • Bold City Vision 2050 is a long-term strategic strategy for transforming and decarbonising Riga’s energy system — ambitious but practical energy planning for the city [source].

Political alignment:

Marketability: N/A

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Sector: Finance

Country / Region: Latvia

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In 1 user collection: Good practices of cities

Knowledge Object: User generated Initiative

Published by: Energy Cities, the European association of cities in energy transition