Save money on eco-renovations and home improvement grants in Spain

December 17, 2021 | Life, Life Spain

Are you eligible for a home improvement grant in Spain? DianaHome are a Spanish company specialising in eco-renovations, green building, energy efficiency, sustainable architecture and interior design. In this blogpost, director Erica Starks talked to MumAbroad about what home improvements grants exist in Spain, how DianaHome can help you with paperwork, and the sustainable home improvement options for your Spanish home. DianaHome has an international team that speaks English as Spanish, French, German and more. They are based in the Maresme region near Barcelona.


Eco-renovations from DianaHome in the Maresme

 

What are eco-renovations?

Eco-renovations are holistic home improvements that consider health, efficiency, design and, of course, sustainability.

Eco-renovations can be expensive. There are home improvement grants in Spain. Tell us more?

The Spanish government has rolled out subsidies in line with the Renovation Wave, a European Commission initiative to lower emissions by renovating buildings. Buildings represent roughly 40% of all carbon dioxide emissions. Among the industries specific to Spain, Component 2 has a double objective: to activate the rehabilitation sector in Spain to improve quality and decarbonisation of buildings, and to promote social housing.

DianaHome‘s projects are in line with both the Renovation Wave objectives and specific home improvement grants currently or soon-to-be available. We also manage the application process, from determining which measurers improve energy efficiency, to estimating costs and the relevant subsidy % as well as filing all the paperwork and following up to ensure funds are received.

El Programa de rehabilitación energética de edificios (PREE) promotes the energy rehabilitation of existing residential buildings, energy-saving and efficiency actions and the incorporation of renewable energies that reduce final energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. There are eligible home improvement grants such as thermal envelopes, replacement of heating and lighting installations.

Approved interventions must improve a house’s emissions energy rating by at least one letter (kg CO2 / m2 / year), and each intervention must result in a final energy saving of at least 10%. Home improvement grants in Spain apply to 15% to 35% of the energy efficiency cost with the possibility of increasing subsidies depending on the project. Spain also allows deductions on IRPF for  sustainable renovations. Subsidies are cumbersome, with a lot of paperwork, so their management is a genuine value-added service for our clients.

In addition to managing subsidies, we also offer financing of up to 100% of an eco-renovation (including all the licensing fees, interior design and other elements traditionally left out of financing).

The first step is always the home study; then, once the client defines what they want to do and their budget, we analyse the pre-project to determine the potential subsidies and financing. We can estimate grants without any need for external approval. If the client wants to move forward with financing, there is an approval process and, once approved, we move forward with the engagement.

What type of property might benefit from your services?

Any property in Spain built before 2019, when the new technical code came into effect, can benefit from DianaHome‘s services. For example, I live in a community built by Corp in Alella. Corp did probably 90% of the building correctly, but the remaining 10% didn’t execute well. Even though the community is from 2017, many apartments already suffer wear and tear, and the community’s bills are very high. DianaHome could intervene to fix common problems at the individual residence level creating economies of scale and at the community/building level to analyse the energy consumption patterns and determine which measures to implement.

Most buildings in Spain are decades old. Problems with humidity and dampness, inefficient installations, old carpentry, toxic or semi-toxic materials, thermal leaks, etc., are pretty standard.

 

Holistic Home Improvement - DianaHome

Your workspace is a beautifully renovated California style house nestled in the vineyards of the Maresme coast. How did that come about?

GNE Finance, the company behind DianaHome, needed a new office. We were in Poble Nou in Barcelona at the time, and when we started looking for new offices, we also looked at the Maresme area since some of us lived here. We decided renovating a home with our solutions would help clients understand better what we do and create a healthy, beautiful workspace.

Big renovations can be daunting, where’s a good place to start?

Start with priorities. To do that requires an objective analysis of what needs improvement or renovation. One thing is what I want as a homeowner, and another thing is a technical, data-based evaluation of the home. We always encourage clients to start with one of our home studies, and we recommend the 360, which covers health, efficiency and design.

Our team comes to the house with different tools to detect thermal bridges, humidities, measure air quality. They analyse the energy and water bills. They speak with the homeowner in-depth to understand their needs and usage. Then they come back to the office, explore everything as a team, and present a report summarising and explaining the home’s current situation and problems and solutions.

From there, the client can decide what they want to move forward with; we provide an estimate of the eco-renovation costs. At that point, the client officially engages DianaHome to represent them in the renovation. From there, we dive straight into defining the project, creating 3D renders so the client can see sustainable improvements and get an estimate of costs. The client can iterate back and forth until ready to move forward with the works. We try to simplify everything so clients can focus on living their lives, not managing their home eco-renovations.

 

Holistic Home Improvement - DianaHome

Can you walk us step by step through the services you offer?

Yes, the easiest way to describe what we do is by visualising a home and thinking of the different aspects of a house:

Illumination = clean energy, solar panels and natural lighting
Climatization = aerotermia and natural ventilation
Insulation = internal and external for temperature, as well as acoustic insulation and plant insulations for roofs
Protection = different external and internal solutions depending on the season, efficient carpentry 
Design = interior design with a conscience, ecological and non-toxic furnishings and decoration, efficient landscaping 
Water = treating and recycling water, solar energy water heating, solar-heated swimming pools and natural pools.

DianaHome works in 3D modelling. Can you tell us more about that?

BIM, (Building Information Modelling), is a way of creating digital models of buildings that are “alive”. It allows our engineers to simulate the energy and resource consumptions of the home, to simulate internal temperature and light exposure at different times of year and day. It also allows our architects to take photographs of the house so that clients can previsualise the sustainable renovations.

How can you guarantee that the eco-renovations you suggest will really make a difference in terms of energy efficiency?

That is the beauty of 3D modelling; it allows us to simulate consumption. We also offer monitoring services post-renovation so that clients can ensure they are complying with best practices.

 

From an economic point of view, do eco-renovations guarantee a decrease in utility bills, for example?

So, if someone’s patterns stay the same, then yes, they guarantee a decrease in utility bills. If someone changes their patterns – like, say, they are not on solar energy and post-renovation, they install a completely inefficient laundry dryer and run it 24 hours a day. No amount of eco-renovation can compensate for a lack of common sense.

What languages do your team speak?

English, Catalan, Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, German, Dutch, and Russian. We are a growing company, and we are, by nature, international and multilingual.

As our awareness grows for environmental sustainability, not everyone can afford significant changes to their home. Are there minor home improvements that anyone can do on a budget?

Yes, of course. It depends on the needs of the home and what the budget is, but there are always things that can be done to improve the health and comfort of a home.

What 3 words would you use to describe DianaHome?

Holistic, conscientious and customer-centric.


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