November 9, 2017
The European bank for reconstruction and development (EBRD), the European Union (EU) and the Austria have launched a joint programme to support energy efficiency investment in the residential housing sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EBRD said in a statement.
The EBRD has committed a total of EUR 17 million to Unicredit Bank Mostar, Unicredit Bank Banja Luka and Sparkasse Bank, which the banks will use for borrowing to clients investing in energy efficiency projects in residential buildings.
The EBRD funding is provided under its Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF) which delivers climate finance in the Bank’s countries of operations via local banking systems.
Energy intensity in Bosnia and Herzegovina is on average three times higher than the level seen in the EU. The residential housing sector contributes significantly to this intensity, with an estimated 80% of residential buildings requiring renovation. Consequently, the potential for energy efficiency investment and savings is high.
The GEFF in BiH combines technical expertise with finance and targeted incentives to support investment in high-performing, environmentally friendly technologies. The goal is to contribute to the development of a sustainable market for green investment in the residential housing sector.
The facility is supported by grant funding from the European Western Balkans Joint Fund under the Western Balkans Investment Framework, and from the EU and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance.
The funds will serve to promote the expansion of green lending to households in BiH. Financing will be complemented with a wide-reaching awareness campaign to further promote green solutions and efficient energy use.
“This financing will lead to meaningful improvements in the daily lives of people in BiH: these investments will allow them to save money through lower energy bills, while also ensuring that their homes are more comfortable. In addition, it will contribute significantly to our goal of building a greener future for the country and the region,” Director of the EBRD Office in BiH Ian Brown said.
Head of EU Delegation to BiH and EU Special Representative in BiH, Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark underscored the importance of continued energy efficiency investments.
“With this new facility, the EU will provide a dedicated package of incentives for energy efficiency investments in the residential sector. The EU’s contribution for the EBRD GEFF facility will enable citizens in BiH and in the region to refurbish windows, doors and boilers in their apartments and houses, to invest in technologies that will provide energy-savings to their households,” said Wigemark.
EUR 135 million available for investments
Through the extension of the Regional Energy Efficiency Programme (REEP Plus) for the Western Balkans, the EBRD is further stepping up efforts to increase energy efficiency investment in the business and residential sectors alike, in Albania, BiH, FYR Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia.
In total, it will make available EUR 135 million for such investments, supported by EUR 30 million in funding from the EU and EUR 1.8 million from the European Western Balkans Joint Fund, as well as EUR 3.3 million provided by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance.