Gemma Feliciani, head of the Western Europe Financial Institutions and Banks Division of the European Investment Bank (EIB), and Stéphane Péré, CEO of the Occitanie Regional Energy and Climate Agency (Agence Régionale Energie Climat Occitanie – AREC), today signed a EUR 40m financing contract in the presence of Thierry Cotelle, President of AREC, and Agnès Langevine, Vice-President of the Occitanie Region, to launch the third-party finance operator of the Occitanie Integrated Public Energy Renovation Service (Service Public Intégré de la Rénovation Energétique Occitanie –SPIRE).

These funds will be added to the EUR 40m in own funds brought by the Occitanie Region to enable AREC to launch the SPIRE third-party financing company in early 2020. Third-party financing is one of the relevant and credible solutions for overcoming the lack of investment from private banking players and the complexity of existing energy renovation offerings.

AREC will be a SPIRE operator as part of a public service delegation, offering a support service to all households in the Occitanie Region wishing to undertake energy renovation projects in their homes, combined with a subsidised loan to facilitate financing of the works.

Target reduction in building energy consumption of 40% as part of the Positive-Energy Region initiative

By offering these services, the Occitanie Region is taking part in the Positive-Energy Region initiative, of which energy renovation in homes is a key component. The target is to reach a rate of 52 000 high-efficiency renovations per year by 2030, and 75 000 per year by 2050. In addition to the challenge of reducing energy usage (by 40% by 2050), SPIRE will help to fight against energy poverty in Occitanie and against climate change by promoting an improvement in winter and summer comfort for residents.

Climate action is a key priority for the EU bank, notably as part of the Juncker Plan. In the field of energy transition, this can be seen in the Bank’s support for smaller projects, which can benefit from the European guarantee and the EIB’s triple A credit rating to access innovative, attractive and project-specific financing. In 2015, the EIB thus adopted a EUR 400m programme for energy renovation work in private homes (individual and collective dwellings) financed by third-party financing companies. SPIRE Occitanie is the fifth such operation to be financed in this manner. By backing the Occitanie Region, the EIB hopes to meet the massive investment requirements in this sector, thereby accelerating thermal renovation in homes.

Note to editors

The Occitanie Region
The Occitanie Region has made the fight against climate change a priority in the range of policies undertaken to develop a social model that makes more sparing use of natural resources and is more respectful of the environment. With the stated objective of being a Positive-Energy Region, Occitanie is placing particular emphasis on energy renovation of homes. Having already committed to implementing its housing eco-cheque system, the Occitanie Region hopes to accelerate the rate of renovations while combating the energy poverty that affects many people by launching a brand-new dedicated public service: the Integrated Public Energy Renovation Service (SPIRE).

AREC, the agency driving the regional energy transition
AREC is the entity charged by the Occitanie Region to implement energy transition projects. It provides support for project promoters, from strategic planning and origination to implementation and running of projects, acting as a skills and investment hub throughout the energy transition value chain. AREC is committed to offering tailored solutions that facilitate the individual appropriation and governance of projects to make the energy transition a dynamic regional development tool.
As an impartial actor, the agency provides an objective viewpoint for energy transition solutions. The agency acts in the general interest, making it a trusted regional partner. AREC operates on the basis of subsidiarity.