Eco-friendly renovation: three steps to funding I

Climate-friendly renovation: three steps to funding

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19.02.2024 | 3 Minuten

Key information at a glance

  • A cantonal building energy certificate (GEAK) certifies the current condition of your property and can serve as a basis for planning your renovation.
  • Subsidy programs for ecological construction and living often offer financial incentives.
  • It is important that you apply for subsidies in good time, i.e., as soon as you have a detailed renovation plan in place and definitely before you start the actual works.

Are you thinking about renovating your home to make it more energy efficient? This will be good for both the environment and your wallet. That’s because an energy-efficient home is often cheaper to run. The Swiss government and the canton where you reside also frequently subsidize environmentally friendly renovations. In this article we explain the three steps necessary to obtain this support.

Step 1: Obtain an overview and draw up a plan

Before you start funding your upcoming renovation, you should first get an idea of your home’s current energy efficiency. To do so, you can request a cantonal building energy certificate (GEAK) (German website). In some cantons this certificate is a requirement to be able to apply for grants. The basic GEAK product is a four-page document that shows the energy class of the building envelope, the building technology and its direct CO2 emissions according to seven classes ranging from A to G. It is written by a certified expert. The fees charged by experts will vary depending on the complexity of the building to be analyzed. The GEAK Plus includes an advisory report which shows you two to three modernization options for your specific building.

Knowing which are the most energy-efficient measures to make your building more energy efficient and which are eligible for a subsidy is central for your planning. First find out what options are open to you and which energy-saving measures and subsidies could be appropriate for you.

The information and tools you require can be found online: Houzy, the platform for property owners, offers a variety of tools and calculators such as its free renovation planner. It shows you the most cost-effective way to renovate and where you can save energy. In addition to the estimated renovation costs and the calculated times at which the work should be carried out, it tells you which parts of the building you should tackle at the same time to renovate in the most cost-efficient way.

UBS Switzerland AG (“UBS”) has a stake in Houzy AG (“Houzy”). Through its strategic partnership with Houzy, UBS aims to expand its range in the Home & Living ecosystem. By clicking on this link, you will leave the UBS website. UBS has no influence on the data processing of the Houzy website and therefore does not assume any liability for it. UBS is generally not liable for services provided by Houzy.

Our article “What kind of energy-saving measures make sense – and when?” provides further information on which investments make sense when and how soon you can start saving money.

Once you have a firm plan in place for the project you will be in a strong position to obtain a subsidy for your energy-focused renovation.

Does your property have a sustainability certificate?

Then please get in touch and we will check whether you are eligible for a Green Mortgage with a favorable interest rates.

Step 2: Find the right subsidy program

Switzerland is investing heavily in the promotion of green building and housing, largely through financial incentives. Accordingly, there are also many providers who offer subsidies. Due to the many different options, it’s often not easy to find the right program for your project.

The platform Energiefranken (German website) operated by the Zürcher Elektrizitätswerke and EnergieSchweiz lists all of the subsidy programs for the promotion of energy and mobility offered by the Swiss government, cantons and municipalities. Simply type in your postcode to receive the offers available for you including the main linked websites. The list is constantly updated so you always have a complete overview of all of the subsidy programs.

Step 3: Submit your request

Once you have discovered the funding programs that are potentially suitable for you, you will usually find the application form and information on all other documents you need on the website of the funding provider. The documents you require include:

  • Extract from land register
  • Investment overview
  • Photos of the real estate
  • Project plans

Apply for subsidies in good time, i.e., as soon as you have a detailed renovation plan in place and definitely before you start the actual works. You will not usually be able to obtain a grant for projects that you have already started or perhaps even completed.

Remember also that some subsidy amounts are cumulative and may even cancel each other out. The monies themselves are paid out after the renovation has been completed.

If you follow these three steps, the subsidy landscape will be clearer and you will be a step closer to your dream of a green home. We wish you every success with your renovation project!

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