€6.5m in subsidies to make higher education more energy-efficient


The government is inviting colleges and universities to apply for funding towards the cost of insulation, heat pumps and other measures to reduce their carbon emissions

Easing the transition

Colleges and universities can apply for a slice of €6.5 million funding to introduce and upgrade energy-saving measures on their premises.

Flemish government ministers Hilde Crevits (education), Lydia Peeters (energy) and Koen Van den Heuvel (environment) are investing the money to help higher education institutions better insulate their buildings and save energy. The projects that offer the most carbon savings per euro will receive subsidies of up to 50% of the cost of the work.

“Flanders in general has an outdated housing stock, and college and university buildings are not always in good condition. A renovation boost is therefore required,” Peeters said. “By making the transition to renewable energy and advanced energy efficiency, we are ensuring that our children grow up in a healthier environment.”

Important step

Higher education has an important role to play in the efficient use of energy in Flanders, because of the space taken up by its buildings. New and renovated buildings tend to be energy efficient, but existing buildings can benefit from energy savings by investing in roof, wall and floor insulation, heat pumps, solar power and modern glazing. A commission will judge the applications and rank them according to their potential to reduce carbon dioxide.

Previous calls for proposals in 2017 and 2018 saw a total of 177 projects approved, resulting in an estimated 20,000-ton reduction in carbon dioxide emissions per year.

Van den Heuvel: “After mobility, buildings in Flanders are the largest source of greenhouse gases. With older buildings in particular there is still a lot of potential to greatly reduce emissions. With this support, we are taking another important step to make the school buildings energy-efficient.”

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