All companies controlled by the government are obligated to appoint an energy manager in order to start reducing electricity, gas, fuel oil and other energy consumption, Večernje novosti newspaper’s portal reported. According to new regulation issued by the Ministry of Mining and Energy, the rule also applies to all other companies that consume more than 30 MWh per year, as well as municipalities with more than 20,000 inhabitants. Managers must have a university diploma in technical sciences, but also to complete a training course, which will cost the company RSD 40.000 (EUR 325).
Although local governments are afraid they will not be able to hire special workers who will only deal with energy efficiency, experts say the savings at the local level could be up to 40%, so it would be profitable.
According to the article, the list of companies that will have to hire experts for energy savings includes all power plants, airports, public enterprise Roads of Serbia, Post of Serbia and the National Bank of Serbia, the central monetary authority. Calculations show 70% of total industrial production in the country will be covered.
“The directive that obliges all public companies to hire energy managers was adopted in March. They had two months to do it and they also must send annual reports to the Ministry of Energy,” said Ljubinko Savić from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia.
In the majority of municipalities and companies it will not be necessary to hire new people, because some of the technical staff will be able to do this kind of work, but under the condition of having proper university diplomas and certificates acquired. The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Belgrade will organize trainings for energy managers.
The savings are expected from insulation of windows and doors, restoration of the façade and the introduction of renewable energy sources. A similar system already exists in Šabac and Vršac.
“In Šabac, we started in 2001 with rehabilitation of the public heating network,” said Slobodan Jerotić, energy manager in Šabac. “In the second stage, in 2011, we began to co-finance insulation of residential buildings with 50% of expenses. So far we rehabilitated 60,000 square metres out of total 480,000 square metres connected to the public heating network. Average energy savings after insulation is complete are 40%. In 2011, heating plants have spent 8.6 million cubic metres of gas, and this year they will spend six million. The third stage is the introduction of renewable energy sources; the aim is to give the least money possible on imports of fossil fuels, and as much as possible to our citizens who have biomass. I am an energy manager since 2014. How to get employment is problematic, because there is a conflict of laws, so I am not hired permanently.
Companies which are large energy consumers already have entire teams that focus on energy efficiency. Energy savings allow their products to be more competitive in the market.
“We have been improving energy efficiency for ten years,” said Milomir Cvijović from copper mill Valjaonica bakra Sevojno. “Every year we do serious analysis and substitution of energy sources. We are not yet obliged to have a particular person in the position of an energy manager, but as soon as we are, we shall comply with the law. We changed the structure of the products, to make ones that need more thermal processing at energy consumption remaining the same. If we had maintained the old product structure, energy consumption would have been much lower,” he said.
According to the Law on Efficient Use of Energy, an energy manager has an obligation to collect and analyze data on the use of energy, to prepare programmes and plans, to propose measures that contribute to efficient use of energy and to participate in their implementation. One of the main tasks is also to prepare an annual report for the Ministry of Energy.