In the next three years, Vrbas, Kruševac, Užice, and Paraćin will retrofit 23 public buildings, most of them kindergartens and schools, introduce the European Energy Award (EEA) and strengthen administrative capacities as part of the Municipal Energy Efficiency and Management Project (MEEMP), it was said during the project’s launch conference.
The value of the project, implemented by the Ministry of Mining and Energy and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), is EUR 8 million, of which 90% is provided by Switzerland. The project, for which preparatory works started six months ago, will be implemented by a consortium comprising ENCO Energie-Consulting, EBP Schweiz and GFA Entec from Switzerland, as well as GFA South East Europe and Quiddit from Serbia.
Stevica Deđanski, state secretary at the Ministry of Mining and Energy, said that four buildings will be reconstructed in Paraćin, seven in Kruševac, and six in Užice and Vrbas.
The European Energy Award will be introduced, as one of the most internationally recognized energy management systems, to strengthen municipalities’ capacity for independent energy management, he said.
Switzerland is one of the four largest individual donors in Serbia, Swiss Ambassador to Serbia Philippe Guex said, adding that energy efficiency and renewable energy sources are one of the three priorities of the Swiss Cooperation Strategy for Serbia for the period 2018-2021.
Switzerland is helping Serbia in the areas of energy efficiency and renewables because it has the know-how, as well as some innovative policies it would like to share, Guex said.
The European Energy Award, which was set up by Switzerland in 1988, has over time become a way for national energy targets to be translated to the local level, the ambassador said, adding that more than 50% of the Swiss population live in places with this award, while there are 1,400 such cities in 11 countries all over the world.
40% energy savings expected
According to Miloš Banjac, assistant energy minister for renewable energy and energy efficiency, the main goal of the project is to increase energy efficiency and the awareness concerning the rational use of energy and climate change in the four selected cities.
In addition to the rehabilitation of the facility, the European Energy Award system will also be introduced, Banjac said, adding that the system is similar to energy management in Serbia and further strengthens the energy management and monitoring of the achieved results.
The goals of the project are in line with what the ministry is doing – strengthening the energy efficiency fund, which will be done through 23 retrofits and strengthening the energy management system, he said.
The retrofits implemented so far by the ministry have delivered energy savings of 40%, which is also expected to be the case with this project, Banjac noted.
Marijan Mijanović, a member of the Vrbas Municipality Council for Economy and Investments, said that CHF 1.6 million will be invested in the energy rehabilitation of kindergartens and schools.
The project will make the facilities more comfortable and reduce energy costs, while cutting CO2 emissions to protect the environment, Mijanović said.
The Municipality of Vrbas has already managed to retrofit two public buildings from the list of priorities.