>@Tim Smit/EIB

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the province of Limburg will both invest EUR 75 million in the “Duurzaam Thuis” stimulation fund. The initiative is meant for private citizens who can borrow money for future proofing their homes. It is the first time the EIB invests in a fund that will lend directly to citizens, rather than a business or public sector counterpart.

Following this capital injection, the “Duurzaam Thuis” fund has EUR 234 million available for investments with private citizens. Residential buildings in the province of Limburg are on average somewhat older than in the rest of the Netherlands. That offers possibilities but also highlights the need to accelerate investments for their modernisation. Inhabitants of the province Limburg can lend funds for the installation of solar panels, isolating their homes, buying geothermal pumps or installation of high-efficiency glazing. The initiative is also meant for people who want to future-proof their home in the sense of installing staircase elevators or lowering thresholds inside their homes. The loans will be awarded and managed by the Foundation Stimuleringsfonds Volkshuisvesting Nederlandse gemeenten (SVn).

EIB Vice-President Andrew McDowell and the provincial commissioners Eric Geurts (Energy and Sustainability) and Ger Koopmans (Finance) ceremonially signed the agreement between the Province of Limburg and the European Investment Bank in Maastricht today, January 17th 2019. Ger Koopmans commented: “With this agreement, European and Limburg money will be made available to local households.”

Duurzaam Thuis

The province takes climate targets very seriously, as shown also through its recently announced strategy “LEKTA”. Regional Minister Eric Geurts, responsible for Energy and Sustainability said: “I’m very happy that Limburg has the courage to offer this type of financing instrument. That there is a need for this, becoming clear from the figures. We’ve awarded over 10.000 loans, totalling some EUR 85 million. With that we have not only saved over 20.000 tonnes of CO2 emissions, but also given a considerable impulse to local employment. We estimate to have created some 360 FTE worth of new jobs. All these successes are thanks to those Limburgers that have the courage to look towards the future.”

Vice-President Andrew McDowell added: “with an eye on the energy transition, energy efficiency is set to play and increasingly important role in saving energy and reducing emissions. This initiative aims to make private homes more sustainable, as residential building are still lagging in achieving improved standards. We’re particularly proud of this operation, as it is the first time an EIB-loan will be directly channelled to private citizens by the lender, making sure European support is visible, tangible and fungible.”


Except for this new financial impulse into ‘Duurzaam Thuis’, the province also received a European investment subsidy of EUR 3,4 million under the ELENA (European Local Energy Assistance) programme. The ELENA-instrument subsidises up to 90% of the procedural costs in the preparation phase of the project.

The ELENA-subsidy can substantially support the acceleration of the disbursments under the “Duurzaam Thuis” programme. The financing will mainly be used for marketing and communication and the putting into operation of the programme. This way, it is envisioned to be wholly possible to invest the new EUR 150 million within planned term of three years.