Minister Zorana Mihajlović said subsidies for the replacement of doors and windows and wall insulation could become available by the summer.
Ahead of today’s World Energy Efficiency Day, citizens learned the Government of Serbia and municipal authorities may soon start to approve funds for the energy renewal of houses, apartments and residential buildings. For the upcoming investment cycle in energy, the state is preparing EUR 4 billion to EUR 5 billion, but the country is wasting four times more energy than its neighbors and as much as six times more than the European Union, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mining and Energy Zorana Mihajlović told Prva television station.
“We have to be rational about resources,” she stressed and pointed to the lack of thermal insulation in residential space but also old joinery and inefficient devices in households. The Energy Efficiency Fund has already been helping local authorities refurbish public buildings. With the Draft Law on Energy Efficiency and Rational Energy Use, which the government should pass soon, a framework will be created for subsidies for citizens.
Public calls may already start in summer
The National Assembly could vote on the bill in less than three weeks, enabling the planned energy efficiency authority to be formed by June, Mihajlović said and added subsidies will start to be approved before the end of the year, with applications beginning perhaps in the summer. The government must appreciate every citizen, she underscored. The minister stressed a part of the funds would be approved via the local authorities as well as that entire residential buildings would have the opportunity to apply.
Most funds should be secured through credit lines
The smallest share will come from the budget, as credit lines should be secured, she revealed and estimated energy renewal could cut energy bills by up to 25%. The new law will enable more consumers to become qualified for the category of buyers at risk of energy poverty and use the benefits offered for gas, electricity and thermal energy, Mihajlović said.
Deadline for completion of energy efficiency works to be set at one year
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Germany’s KfW Development Bank are assisting the Government of Serbia in defining a model for the energy efficiency authority. According to earlier information, the funds will be granted through public calls and the deadline to complete works will be set at one year.
Estimates show 70% of homes in Serbia aren’t insulated enough.
The European Union published its Renovation Wave Strategy in October. The ambition is to at least double the renovation rate in the next ten years. In the guidelines for the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans, the European Commission proposed for the program to be expanded to the region. The governments there embraced the agenda in November by signing the Sofia Declaration.