The Government of North Macedonia has prepared subsidies for households to increase energy efficiency and use renewables, but also to switch to natural gas for heating.
The incentives to replace coal, fuel oil, and wood with natural gas for heating purposes is a novelty in the country’s household subsidy program in the energy sector. The Ministry of Economy explained it is introducing the measure to diversify sources of energy supply.
The program is divided into four public calls: for doors and windows, installation of solar panels, installation of solar collectors, and conversion of heating to natural gas.
A total of MKD 80 million (EUR 1.3 million) has been secured, and the ministry expects to grant incentives to about 2,570 households for doors, windows, solar panels, and solar collectors.
The Ministry of Economy claims that natural gas is cleaner than fuel oil, coal and wood
The number of households that will have the opportunity to switch to natural gas has not been estimated, but the authorities said they provided MKD 10 million (EUR 160,000) for the purpose. Citizens could get up to 70% of the costs, but no more than MKD 25,000 (EUR 406) for project documentation and for connecting to the distribution system.
According to the ministry, the aim of the incentive is to ensure better living conditions in terms of quality heating based on a fuel that is more economical and cleaner compared to fuel oil, coal and wood.
Natural gas will reduce citizens’ costs, PM10 levels, and CO2 emissions, the ministry said and added that the use of this fuel would raise environmental standards and environmental awareness.
The largest share of funds will be spent for solar panels
The budget for new doors and windows is MKD 25 million (EUR 406,000), which will be enough for about 1,200 households. Citizens can get a refund of up to 50% of the investment, but no more than MKD 20,000 (EUR 325) each.
About 1,000 households should receive incentives for solar collectors. There is MKD 15 million to refund up to 30% of the investment, but not more than MKD 15,000 denars (EUR 244) apiece.
The largest part of the incentives program is planned for solar power panels – MKD 30 million (EUR 487,000), but it will be enough for the lowest number of households compared to the other measures. Subsidies can be obtained for PV facilities with a capacity of up to 6 kW for self-consumption, and up to 30%, but no more than MKD 80,000 (EUR 1,300).
Minister of Economy Kreshnik Bekteshi said the most important thing for the government is to protect the standard of citizens and the liquidity of companies and that no one would be left alone to deal with the crisis.