Incentive schemes in Tyrol, Austria

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Incentive schemes in Tyrol, Austria

Housing policy in Austria is the joint responsibility of the Federal State (Civil Law, i.e. Rent Law, Condominium Law, Limited Profit Housing Law, etc.; tax collection) and the provinces (housing subsidy schemes, regional planning, building regulations, etc.). The housing market is strongly influenced by policy regulation. The 'klima:aktiv' national programme is a part of the Austrian strategy for climate protection, set up by the environmental ministry. It consists of more than 20 sub-programmes with measures for buildings, electrical appliances, products from renewable materials, etc. One of the objectives of the programme is to attract additional investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Another national programme is the Austrian programme on Technologies for Sustainable Development set up by the transportation ministry. It aims to promote effective restructuring of the economy towards sustainability. The sub-programme "Building of Tomorrow" is the part of it that pertains to the built environment. The action programme "Economy of Tyrol" supports more effective energy use by offering consultations for the implementation of energy conserving technologies. Measures in the area of construction of new low energy and passive buildings and of thermal renovation of existing buildings, as well as of use of RES energy, are financed mainly by means of subsidies from the national and regional levels. Housing subsidies are very important, as the proportions of housing ownership in Austria shows relatively large sector of subsidised social housing: 23 % (approximately 10 percentage points above the EU-15 average). Other incentive programmes, oriented to the sector of private services are "Promotion of domestic environmental protection" and “Promotion of energy conservation measures in Tyrol”.

National Programmes

klima:aktiv - Austrian Climate Protection Programme

'Klima:aktiv' is a climate protection programme launched in 2004 by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management and managed by the Austrian Energy Agency. It plays an important role in the Austrian federal climate strategy, which consists of a set of regulations, taxes, and subsidies. The main purpose of 'klima:aktiv' is to introduce and promote environmentally sound technologies and services. The programme provides a coordinated framework for measures in the four thematic fields:

  • Construction & Renovation: Well planned and well executed low-energy and ecological buildings.
  • Energy Saving: Energy-efficient processes and devices for companies, households and local communities.
  • Renewable Energy: Intensified use of high-quality renewable energy sources.
  • Mobility: Mobility management in companies, communities, schools, tourist regions.

'Klima:aktiv' focuses its activities in several key areas with initiatives for training, clear and transparent quality assurance standards and measures, consultation and information activities, as well as activation and coordination of all the important stakeholders. 'Klima:aktiv' takes as its basis the idea of market transformation. The main characteristic of this approach is the active and comprehensive inclusion of all relevant market participants and stakeholders. Advantages of this approach include comparatively low costs and long lasting effects. Specifically, the market transformation that is aimed for is an increasing market share for energy efficient products and services. The advantage of combining these thematic fields under one umbrella ‘brand-name’ mainly derives from the fact that the instruments used (training, consulting, quality management, networking and awareness campaigns) are similar between the specific themes. The content and relative importance may differ depending on the market segments, but not so much their form. Thus the specific thematic programmes can profit from each other. Not only can they learn from their own mistakes but also from those in the other fields. Similarly, success stories will quickly work a circuit and all associated programmes can profit.

Austrian Programme on Technologies for Sustainable Development "Nachhaltig Wirtschaften"

In 1999 the Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT) launched a research and technology programme “Nachhaltig Wirtschaften”, which aimed to effectively stimulate the restructuring of the economy towards sustainability. It initiates and supports advanced research and development projects and the implementation of exemplary pilot projects and includes several sub-programmes, one of which is "Building of Tomorrow" (Haus der Zukunft). The program can provide grants up to 35% of the “innovative costs” of a project. Starting from the low-energy solar building approach and the passive building concept and incorporating ways of using environmentally friendly and renewable materials in construction, new designs with great promise for the future have been developed and implemented both for new construction and for renovation of existing buildings. In "Building of Tomorrow Plus" the overriding goal is to achieve technological preconditions for constructing buildings that do not consume energy, but generate it. “Building of Tomorrow Plus” (Phase 2 of the programme) features the following aims:

  • Developing the technological basis for the building of tomorrow, above all the plus-energy home.
  • High quality office and factory buildings and renovation of existing buildings for those uses.
  • Adoption of innovative technologies and of products that can be produced on a large-scale.
  • Demonstration projects (buildings, settlements, networks, etc.) to promote new technologies and approaches.
  • Supporting the transfer of know-how across borders, accumulating human resources and integrating existing knowledge into relevant training schemes.

The long term vision for “Building of Tomorrow” is to increase energy efficiency in construction and operation to a point where, over the building's entire life cycle, the emissions of greenhouse gases are reduced to zero in total. By 2010, funding had been given to about 300 projects out of 700 submitted proposals, and the Ministry provided more than 35 million euro in grants. The Ministry delegates the management of this programme to two organisations: to the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) which is the national financial institution for applied research in Austria ( with particular attention to the financial aspects, and to the Austrian Society for Environment and Technology (OGUT) with particular attention to Public Relations (

Regional Programmes

Action Programme "Tyrol Economy": Energy Consulting

The provincial programme for operational energy consulting in Tyrol is conducted primarily by the Chamber of Commerce (together with 'Energie Tirol' and 'klima:aktiv'). 'Energie Tirol' is a regional energy agency sponsored by the province (County or State participating in the federal government). The focus is on optimisation of energy use by means of new technologies. In addition, the Tyrol Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with 'Energie Tirol' carries out audits of the tourist industry, preliminary assessments of potential energy savings and offers advice on possible steps towards realising that potential. The hourly rate for the consultations is €67 with possible discounts of 25% to 50 %. Energy audits of hotels, restaurants and other tourist businesses are free of charge. Specifically, 'Energie Tirol' focuses on consulting households and communities, and as a part of the action programme it serves as the organization for initial information on energy issues.


Austria and its provinces have a comprehensive system of subsidies for energy efficiency and for use of renewable energy sources, including grants for research and development. The amount of subsidy is directly dependent on the level of energy efficiency achieved. Subsidies from the national level are mainly investment subsidies, provided by the by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Environment and Water Resources Management and the “Klima- und Energiefonds” (National Climate and Energy Fund;, which provided 100 M Euro per year until 2014 for thermal renovation of residential and non-residential buildings. Various subsidies exist on the provincial level, most of them linked to housing (Wohnbauförderung). All subsidies are paid for from the general national and provincial tax revenues.

National Incentives and Subsidies

Projects for energy from Renewable Energy Sources (RES), for the energy conserving renovation of buildings that, from then on, will use RES only, as well as for air conditioning systems that use only RES, are supported through the "Climate Protection in the Municipalities" programme. Under this programme subsidies are granted to commercial companies, to non-profit organisations, to municipalities and to private persons. The budget is provided mainly by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Environment and Water Resources Management, the “Climate and Energy Fund” and the Ministry of Economics. The "Climate and Energy Fund” was created for the period 2007 - 2010 by the Council of Ministers on May 2, 2007. The objective of the fund, with an allocation of 500 million, was to improve energy efficiency and increase the share of renewables in energy production. The Fund was intended to be an important step to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to facilitate implementation of the national climate strategy. The Fund financed projects and research related to climate and energy: in 2007 it distributed a total of € 50 million, and in 2008 and subsequent years € 150 million annually. The main focus of the fund was to provide financial assistance and procurement support in climate protection and sustainable energy supply. The program provided measures in three areas:

  • Research and development of sustainable energy technologies;
  • Promotion of projects in local public transit, in eco-friendly freight transportation and in mobility management;
  • Projects to further the market penetration of sustainable energy technologies that are related to climate protection.

The "Climate and Energy Fund” was established as a legal entity with a Governing Committee, an Advisory Council of Experts and a Managing Council. The Governing Committee includes the Federal Chancellor, Federal Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, Federal Minister of Transport, Innovation and Technology and the Federal Minister of Commerce, Industry and Labour. The Advisory Council of Experts is composed of four members and makes recommendations on financial aid. The companies "Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH" and "Kommunalkredit PublicConsulting GmbH" act as implementing agencies. The fund is intended, first, to further strengthen the position of Austria as a leading industrial country in the field of energy and technologies for environmental protection and, in addition, to ensure a sustainable and environmentally friendly energy supply for Austria. The fund provides subsidies for up to 35% of the eligible costs (innovative components) for materials, installation and planning and are provided for:

  • energy sources: for heating systems, working with wood or with solar energy, heat pumps and (until 2012) for photovoltaic systems;
  • energy savings: for energy efficient renovation of buildings and construction of new low energy agricultural buildings, as well as for transition to space heating systems with energy from a renewable source.

Residential Subsidies from the Regional level

Various subsidies exist at the provincial level, mostly in connection with policy to further the quality of housing (Wohnbauförderung). These subsidies focus on thermal insulation, use of biomass or solar energy for space heating and domestic hot water preparation, but also on energy consultations and on Energy Performance Contracts (EPCs). The provinces provided 1,950 M Euro in 2010 for subsidised new construction. Roughly 1/3 went to companies engaged in the construction of affordable houses (LPHA), 1/6 to commercial housing developers and the remaining more than 1/2 to individual households and municipalities. In 2010 as many as 28,000 houses were subsidised. This is roughly 60% of all new construction. Eligibility for the subsidies usually depends on keeping purchase prices or rents low. Subsidies for the renovation of buildings are put into effect either as investment grants (usually between 10 and 25%) or as loans (with 1% to 4% interest for a period of 10 to 20 years, depending on the regional administrative system and the proposed technical measures). Almost half of the housing subsidies by the provinces are granted for new construction in the multi-apartment sector, another 11% are spent in the sector of detached houses. The expenditures for housing renovation are quickly increasing (28 %).

Residential Subsidies in Tyrol (Wohnbauförderungsrichtlinie)

New guidelines for housing subsidies in Tyrol came into force on October 1, 2013. Particularly attractive is the framework provided for renovation of residential buildings. Through extensive renovation up to two-thirds of the heating costs can be saved. In addition, developers are rewarded for quality renovations with an eco-bonus of up to EUR 8,000 per family home. To obtain the subsidy for new housing, applicants must have a family income between EUR 1,310 and EUR 2,660 per month, depending on the number of family members, etc. In obtaining subsidies for social housing, there are restrictions on the sales price of the units or the amount of rent. By contrast, there are no economic restrictions for obtaining subsidies to retrofit existing buildings. The first level of subsidy is a loan with a low interest rate (from 1 to 4%) for up to 39 years. Compliance with certain minimum requirements for space heating is a precondition to receive a subsidy; as of 2012 the maximum annual heating demand shall not exceed 20 to 36 kWh / m².a depending on the characteristic length of the building (approximately 33% lower than what is required by standard construction regulations). The loan shall not exceed EUR 980 / m2. The second level is a grant to be obtained in order to meet more demanding criteria for energy conservation in the building. The amount of the grant is calculated as the total number of points of the interventions involved, multiplied by the eligible area and multiplied by the monetary value of every point, set at EUR 8. Some of the more important interventions and the corresponding number of points are the following:

  • Improving heating

Energy conservation >=33% 3 points

Energy conservation >= 60% 6 points

to passive house standard <= 10 kWh/m².a 11 points

  • Biomass heating as the sole heating system

Building up to 300 m² of floor area 2 points

Buildings over 300 m² of floor area 1 point

Connection to an existing biomass heating system 0,5 points

  • Installing a heat pump for heating purposes (space heating)

Building up to 300 m² of floor area 2 points

Building over 300 m² of floor area 1 point

  • Installing a ventilation system with heat recovery

Building up to 300 m² of floor area 3 points

Building over 300 m² of floor area 2 points

  • Implementing the project with high quality planning and execution, while achieving high energy and environmental quality, that meets the requirements of the "klima: aktiv house" or of a similar building certification system (e.g. Passive house by PHI, Total Quality Building by ÖGNB)

Building up to 300 m² of floor area 2 points

Building over 300 m² of floor area 1 point

A certificate from an independent, authorized institution must be provided as a proof.

  • Implementing construction word with environmentally friendly, sustainable materials (Ecological index 3)

Building up to 300 m² of floor area and OI3TGH-BGF≤140 2 points

Building over 300 m² of floor area and OI3TGH-BGF≤140 1 point

Building up to 300 m² of floor area and OI3TGH-BGF≤70 3 points

Building over 300 m² of floor area and OI3TGH-BGF≤70 2 points

Assessed is the sustainability of the materials and how environmentally friendly they are. This is done by the means of Ecological index 3 per m2 gross floor area. All relevant information is to be submitted when applying for the energy certificate. Data can be found in the building-book-platform ( The asessment procedure is described in the OI3 guide of the Institute for Healthy and Ecological Building in Vienna (IBO).

  • Solar Panels for hot water and heating

The grant amounts to EUR 210,- per square meter of solar collector surface of a solar system for hot water to a maximum of EUR 2.100,- per apartment.

If the solar system is used for space heating, the maximum amount is EUR 4.200,-.

See also Housing Subsidies in Tyrol, New Buildings or Renovation Subsidies in Tyrol

„Promotion of Domestic Environmental Protection” and “Promotion of Energy Conservation Measures in Tyrol” Programmes

There are two promotional programmes for the private services sector at the national and provincial levels: “Promotion of domestic environmental protection” and “Promotion of energy conservation measures in Tyrol”. Under these programmes energy efficiency measures and use of energy from renewable sources are encouraged. At present, the “Promotion of energy conservation measures in Tyrol”-programme is still being developed. In tourist areas, special consulting services for the promotion of solar energy installations are already provided. In the area of advisory services further consultations for various economic sectors are to be set up under the “Action Programme Tyrol Economy”. In addition to consulting activities it is the intention to promote the use of energy from renewable sources in the services sector through their own technologies programme. Besides information and communication activities, R&D projects regarding energy from renewable sources are being developed as well.



Umweltförderung im Inland, Bundesministerium für Land- und Forstwirtschaft, Umwelt- und Wasserwirtschaft.

Wirtschaftsförderungsprogramm des Landes Tirol, Tiroler competitive benefits Energiesparmaßnahmen.