Prague - The Environment Minister Martin Bursík presented details of his grand-scale plan for house insulation and upgrading furnaces in households to battle climate change and make the country greener.
The program, for which Bursík wants to earmark around CZK 10 billion, is expected to kick off in April this year.
"It is going to be one of the greatest subsidy programs that has ever been in this country," Martin Bursík, the leader of the Greens, said in an interview for Aktuálně.cz, promising a facile administration.
Bursík's ministry is working on a new bill on environment protection, which will set strict rules for using coal in households. From January 2014 using old types of furnaces will be limited and people will pay certain fees if they do not upgrade them for more eco-friendly types. Such a measure should make the air cleaner, particularly in rural areas.
"People are going to save money by minimizing heat costs," says Bursík. "We believe that it is a program that the public could relate to," adds the Greens' leader.
Banks as partners
The money will be provided by banks that will become the project's partners.
"The contact places will be banks, not the state fund. At the moment we have about three banks now, willing to get engaged. It is in total 4,000 branches that will offer money for the project," adds Bursík.
There will be several programs that people will be able to choose from. "The basic programs will offer window insulation and the more complex will be the entire house insulation," says Bursík.
The program should be maximum user-friendly, allowing combinations of various types of subsidies. In other words, people will not have to apply for individual programs separately but combine energy and cost saving programs according to their needs.
Besides the banks, Bursík would like to engage producers too. Firms need commissions these days, says Bursík, and they could offer some eco-friendly products with discounts.
Bursík added that the Ministry of Environment would get the CZK 10 billion grant from selling the emission permits, since the Czech Republic meets the demands of the Kyoto Protocol and has spare permits to give away.