Serbia’s Autonomous Province of Vojvodina said it would invest a total of EUR 16 million in energy efficiency in educational, health, sports, cultural and administrative facilities, with the aim to enable significant heating and electricity savings.
The agreement on a EUR 12 million loan was signed by Igor Mirović, prime minister of the Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, and Matteo Colangeli, director for the Western Balkans region in the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The program is for 80 public buildings in 20 municipalities that do not meet energy efficiency standards, the provincial government pointed out.
The measures consist of thermal insulation, installation of new windows and energy-efficient lighting and the improvement of the heating, ventilation and cooling system. The EBRD said the energy renovation project would result in a 53% reduction in primary energy consumption and a 56% annual reduction in CO2 emissions.
Mirović: We allocated EUR 4 million from our own funds
Energy efficiency is a priority around the globe, and in Vojvodina as well, Prime Minister Igor Mirović said.
Vojvodina allocated EUR 4 million in own funds last year for nine buildings in Vrbas, Subotica, Apatin and Novi Kneževac, bringing total investment to EUR 16 million, he added.
The EBRD announced that the cooperation with the provincial authorities involves a financial package of EUR 14 million, consisting of a EUR 12 million loan and a EUR 2 million donation from the European Union.
Another EUR 2 million in grants for technical assistance were provided by the Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and from the Italian government under the Central European Initiative (CEI), the EBRD said.
Colangeli: Benefits for authorities, the entire energy system
According to Matteo Colangeli, EBRD’s director for the Western Balkans, energy renovation of buildings is of crucial importance for energy savings and energy stability at times of high energy prices.
“Lower energy consumption will benefit both the authorities and the energy system. Together with the EU and other donors, the EBRD will continue to provide financial resources and technical support to the authorities to make investments in energy efficiency much more accessible and easier to implement,” Colangeli said.
The bank also helps with the renovation of public buildings in Belgrade and Šabac
The EBRD noted that the share of buildings in total energy consumption is at 34% and underscored that renovation can help reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions. The international lender added that such investments need to be stimulated and become a priority.
The lender currently provides financing for the renovation of public buildings in Belgrade, residential buildings in Šabac, and loans for citizens in cooperation with partner banks.
Together with the Ministry of Mining and Energy and local authorities, the EBRD is preparing the first phase of the energy efficiency program in the housing sector. It is also helping to harmonize energy efficiency regulations with the EU acquis within its Regional Energy Efficiency Program, funded by the European Union.