- In 2021, the progress of the two one-stop shops of the Opengela project is already visible: more than 700 people are participating in the programme, with a reduction of more than 50% in the CO2 emissions of the intervened buildings.
The Opengela project continues to make progress. It started in May 2019, and even though the pandemic slowed down the urban regeneration process in the two pilot neighbourhoods (Otxarkoaga in Bilbao and Txonta in Eibar), by the end of 2021, some outstanding results can already be seen.
This project, which is funded by the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 programme, has set various objectives, both in the refurbishment of buildings and improving energy efficiency. And, in this regard, it is making notable progress.
At this moment, the two neighbourhoods have managed to reduce their CO2 emissions by more than 50% in the buildings where work is being carried out. Thus, in Otxarkoaga an average of 74% has been reduced in the four blocks that are currently being refurbished. According to the samples taken, the Bilbao neighbourhood has managed to reduce the emission of 340 tonnes of CO2 per year. This is possible thanks to the fact that 69,14% of the budget has been allocated to energy efficiency (both active and passive actions).
In the case of Txonta, the reduction in emissions is quantified at an average of 54,09%, with a total reduction of 157 tonnes of CO2 in the projects already executed. If the works currently underway are added, the number rises to 378,70 tonnes of CO2 per year. In the Gipuzkoa neighbourhood, 67,60% of the budget has gone directly to promoting energy efficiency.
3,6 million private investments
Public-private partnerships are fundamental to this progress. In addition to institutional support, the homeowner’s associations must agree to carry out the refurbishment projects. In this sense, private investment is important. By the end of 2021, total of 3,6 million euros had been mobilised between the two neighbourhoods: 825.438 euros in Txonta and 2,83 million in Otxarkoaga, where most of the property is owned to Municipal Housing. In fact, if the investment of the Bilbao public company is added, the investment is increased by a further 3,92 million.
In this sense, the final objective of the project is closed to being achieved, as it reached 4,6 million euros of private investment.
More than 700 people from 22 buildings in both neighbourhoods have already signed up to the project. It is worth highlighting the high degree of agreement among the neighbourhood to carry out the works (90% in Otxarkoaga and 88% in Txonta). This is reflected in concrete improvements. For example, it has already been agreed to replace a third of the carpentry in the buildings being refurbished.
The district offices, both Txonta Opengela and Otxar Opengela, accompany the neihbourhood throughout the refurbishment process. In Eibar, 143 aid applications have been processed for homeowner’s associations and individuals in different typologies. It is worth noting that this neighbourhood, which is considered vulnerable, has increased its registered population by 3,4% since 2018.
In Otxar Opengela more than 600 interactions have been registered last year between the people who manage the office and the neighbourhood, to accompany them in the refurbishment process.
Finally, a dozen homes in both neighbourhoods have expressed interest in taking advantage of Opengela’s specific financing, which offers payment facilities for renovation work.