Homeowner associations in buildings connected to district heating in Serbia got the deadline extended to apply for subsidies for energy rehabilitation. The authorities said the move was made due to great interest from citizens.
The energy efficiency subsidies will be allocated under the Public ESCO project in 16 cities and municipalities. Owners of residential units in the most energy-inefficient residential buildings connected to the district heating system can cover 50% of investments in external wall insulation and the equipment to switch to consumption-based billing for district heating.
They will repay the rest in monthly instalments through the heating bill.
The program for housing associations was launched in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Kragujevac, Pirot, Užice, Vranje, Trstenik, Čačak, Jagodina, Kraljevo, Negotin, Niš, Novi Pazar, Pančevo, Valjevo and Zrenjanin.
The deadline for the public calls in Pirot, Užice, Trstenik, Vranje, Pančevo and Zrenjanin has expired
Bojan Bogdanović, Principal Fund Manager of the Renewable District Energy in the Western Balkans (ReDEWeB) fund at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), told public broadcaster RTS that housing communities showed tremendous interest in the funding scheme.
Out of 15 cities and municipalities, the Pirot, Užice, Trstenik, Vranje, and Pančevo programs have been completed. The call in the city of Zrenjanin was closed a little earlier.
Bogdanović said the deadlines would be significantly extended and that some local authorities would continue to receive applications until the second half of January, and some even by early February.
Belgrade has already extended the deadline from December 26 to January 19
Of the remaining ten municipal units, Belgrade has already extended the deadline from December 26 to January 19, and the remaining ones are expected to make similar decisions within a few days. The new deadlines are envisaged to last by late January, while only the City of Kragujevac is supposed to receive applications until the end of the first week of February.
The Ministry of Mining and Energy launched the Public ESCO project in cooperation with the EBRD. It aims to improve energy efficiency in residential buildings connected to the district heating network and switch to consumption-based billing while reducing consumption by improving insulation.
Energy rehabilitation will help citizens reduce heating and cooling bills
According to Bojan Bogdanović, the program primarily focuses on producing energy studies to rehabilitate buildings and prepare technical documentation. In addition, assistance will be provided in obtaining appropriate permits for energy rehabilitation, such as building permits, and to obtain financing, he explained.
In his words, energy rehabilitation measures will help citizens reduce their heating bills, control consumption by using thermostatic valves, and reduce cooling bills during the summer.
The most important criteria for selecting the buildings are heat consumption per square meter.
Public ESCO is worth EUR 64.5 million, of which EUR 50 million is a loan from the EBRD and the remainder are donations, Bogdanović said.
The ministry estimates that more than 500 residential buildings with an overall area of about one million square meters would be renovated within the project.