2nd SMAFIN National Roundtable in Greece

“Supporting the Implementation of Smart Financing for Energy Eficient Buildings in Greece.2022”


Thursday 14 April 2022

10.00 – 14.30


The 2nd SMAFIN round table discussion in Greece is organised by CRES - Center for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving in collaboration with INZEB


Introductory plenary
Opening session
  • Lampros Pirgiotis, Director General, CRES 
  • Dimitrios Athanasiou, Directorate General for Energy, European Commission
European and national framework for energy efficiency policies and financing initiatives
Charalambos Malamatenios, Head of Energy Policy and Planning, CRES
“SMAFIN project results”, Vasiliki Papadopoulou, Head of the Department for Dissemination of RES and EE Applications, CRES
“Recovery and resilience fund mechanism”, Dimitrios Voivontas, Director, Ministry for Development
“Financing energy efficiency projects”, Panagiotis Habesis, Head of Development Programmes Division & Sustainability, Hellenic Bank Association
“Innovative financial tools for a green economy”, Stergios Sougioutzoglou, General Manager of Financial Products, Hellenic Development Bank
Parallel sessions
2nd Thematic parallel session (120')
Financing energy efficiency in residential buildings
Alice Corovessi, Managing Director, INZEB
“Financial tools for the energy upgrade of houses", Gianna Nikou, Head of Staff NSRF - Energy Sector, Ministry for Environment and Energy
“Financial tools for energy upgrading homes", Yiannis Konsolas, Development & Sustainable Banking, Piraeus Bank
“Building Renovation Roadmaps”, Alexandros Deliyiannis, Director for Sustainability Consulting and Implementation, Sympraxis Team
“The first Hungarian one-stop-shop, Introducing the RenoHUb Model”, Gergely Schum, Project Manager, ENERGIAKLUB
Discussion – Participation of group of experts
3rd Thematic parallel session (120 min)
“EU Taxonomy”, Diana Barglazan, Unit A4, Economic Analysis and Foresight, Recovery, DG ENER
“EU Taxonomy, Sustainable Finance for the achievement of climate goals”, Despina Tzoulaki, Energy Sector Manager, Grand Thornton
“Taxonomy", Kostas Pavlou, Development & Sustainable Banking, Piraeus Bank
“Support of energy efficiency projects investments – Triple-A project”, Chara Karakosta, NTUA
Discussion - Participation of group of experts
  • Alice Corovessi, Managing Director INZEB 
  • Vlasios Economou, Director of the Institute for European Energy and Climate Policy (IEECP)
  • Christos Tourkolias, Energy Policy and Planning Sector, CRES
End of the discussion


Financing energy efficiency in residential buildings

The 1st parallel session will consider ways to effectively and adequately finance the energy renovation of residential buildings, thus ensuring alignment with national commitments and targets. According to the Long Term Renovation Strategy – LTRS released in March 2021, the target for 2030 is the upgrade of 23% of the household building stock, respectively for 2040 the target is the upgrade of 36% – 42%, while the target for 2050 is to have upgraded the 45% -49%. The energy upgrade of residential buildings has been included in the National Plan for Recovery and Sustainability (April 2021) and is described in detail as action on the 2nd axis of the first pillar “Energy upgrade of the country’s building stock and spatial reform”.

The focus of this session is the funding programme “Save 2021” subsidised by the Fund for Recovery and Resilience aiming to improve the energy class of the households by at least 3 energy categories (over 30% Primary Energy Saving). The total investment of the project is expected to contribute to energy savings of at least 213 ktoe per year and to the energy renovation of at least 105,000 homes by 2025.

Contributing to the implementation of the National Energy and Climate Plan– NECP , the new programme “Save 2021” is implemented by adapting and improving the existing financial scheme, aiming to maximise the benefits for citizens by increasing the number of the households a who are eligible to participate  with increased benefits for vulnerable and low income citizens, simplifying the certification of interventions and activating the market by mobilising private capital to finance the required interventions.

In order to further improve this successful financing programme, during the session the application and connection of the One Stop Shop (OSS) service will be examined. Best practices from other European countries will also be presented while the proposed EPBD revisions will be also considered

The main topics of discussion of this session will be:

  • Will the possible establishment of a one stop service (One Stop Shop) be helpful for the advancement of the most cost-effective energy upgrade of the houses?
  • What should be the main components of the one-stop service to meet the housing renovation needs in Greece? Which bodies should be involved in the service? What should be the role of banks?
  • What challenges may arise in the establishment and operation of such a structure?
  • Could the gradual deep renovation and utilisation of tools such as Building Renovation Passports be examined in order to achieve the goals set for the residential building stock?


Financing energy efficiency in public buildings

The 2nd session will examine financial tools that will accelerate the pace of renovations and energy efficiency investments in public buildings and infrastructure.

According to research conducted under the SMAFIN project on the challenges faced locally, these include lack of data on energy consumption and savings, limited funding, high initial investment costs, long repayment period and measurement difficulties, and verification of the savings achieved. The use of energy efficiency contracts and the grouping of projects could be part of the solution but at the moment there are difficulties due to lack of experience and know-how, complexity of projects and insufficient legislation. In contrast, financing opportunities, a favourable legal framework and the activation of the local community are considered to be the main drivers for energy efficiency investments.

The first part of the session will be dedicated to the presentation of supportive financing programmes and mechanisms in public buildings, with special reference to municipal buildings. Recently, the Ministry of Environment and Energy in Greece announced the specifications of the new energy upgrade programme of public buildings “ELECTRA” and put the Programme Guide in public consultation.

The total budget of the programme amounts to 640 million euros, which together with leverage will mobilize funds up to 1 billion euros. The €470 million will come from an investment loan from the European Investment Bank and the remaining €170 million from the Recovery and Resilient Fund – RRF.

At the same time, through the participation of the Energy Services Companies (ESCO’s) provided in the programme, the aim is to develop a new market that will give even greater impetus to actions to improve energy efficiency.

The short presentations will be followed by a discussion on the utilisation of the existing possibilities and the confrontation of the difficulties faced by the institutions to fill the financial gaps. The discussion will seek answers to the following questions:

  • What are the main challenges that arose during the design of the energy upgrade programme for public buildings ELECTRA? What are the main points of the consultation?
  • In which way an increased participation of the Energy Service Companies in the programme could be facilitated?
  • In which the ways the improvement of the economic efficiency of the selected interventions can be supported?
  • Could training activities change the behavior of the civil servants involved, so as to achieve energy savings due to behavior change?



In order to meet the EU’s climate and energy targets for 2030 and the overall target as presented in the EU Green Deal for carbon neutrality by 2050, it is important to increase investments in sustainable projects and activities. With the recent COVID-19 pandemic and the current geopolitical situation, the need to invest in sustainable projects has been intensified to make European economies, businesses and societies more resilient to climate and environmental shocks.

Achieving this, requires a common language and a clear definition of what is “sustainable”. That is why the action plan for financing sustainable development called for the creation of a common classification system for sustainable economic activities.

The EU taxonomy is a powerful and scientifically proven transparency tool for businesses and investors. It creates a common language that investors can use when investing in projects and economic activities that have a significant positive impact on the climate and the environment.

The EU Regulation (EU) 2020/852, which has been in force since July 2021, concerns the establishment of a framework for the evaluation and classification of green investments.

During the 3rd session of the SMAFIN roundtable, the most important articles of the regulation and results of European projects that have dealt with Taxonomy will be presented. A discussion will follow, based on the following questions:

  • How does the taxonomy support the financing of the energy transition?
  • What are the possible obstacles to the implementation of the articles presented? What solutions can be proposed?
  • Are tools and methodologies available to support the process?
  • Is taxonomy being promoted by the banking system today and how much can this help green investments?