On average, households spend almost 50% of their annual energy costs on heating and cooling. The introduction of energy efficiency products in houses or apartments (insulation, windows and doors, boilers, heat pumps, solar collectors/solar water heaters, photovoltaic systems, lighting, ventilation, air conditioning, hot water storage tanks) reduces unnecessary waste through excessive energy consumption. In this way, households benefit direct financial savings. In addition to saving energy and money, energy efficiency products improve people’s living standards and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as CO2.
For example, by installing 10 cm of thermal insulation in a gas heated uninsulated house, annual savings can be as much as 440 EUR. If the uninsulated house use electric heating, annual savings can reach around 710 EUR or 750 EUR for the combination of a blue and red zone. For household with pellet boilers, the savings are 550 EUR.
Western Balkan households spend approximately three times more energy than EU households which is a burden for the family budget. Diffirent initiatives have tried to create awareness on this matter and change people’s habits.
In recent years, citizens of the Western Balkans have been investing more and more in energy-efficient products, in order to save energy and money, but also to reduce air pollution. One of the programmes that supports households in those efforts is the EBRD WB GEFF Programme. According to data from the EBRD WB GEFF Programme, in the past 3 years, over 4,000 families from the Western Balkans, of which over 870 families are from Serbia, have improved the energy efficiency of their homes or apartments through the GEFF Programme. Serbian citizens most often invest in energy efficient windows and doors, thermal facades and biomass boilers. The total investment goes over 3 million EUR.
In order to reduce excessive energy consumption in a house or apartment, one should start from the basics. This means reducing heat losses by insulating walls and roofs, as well as installing energy-efficient windows and doors. After that, people need to choose an efficient heating system. In our conditions, heat pumps have proven to be a very good choice, especially in combination with underfloor heating or fan convectors.
So far, the EBRD WB GEFF Programme has contributed to the reduction in energy consumtion by 18.000 MWh/year and reduction of CO2 emissions by 6.300 tonns/year which translates into almost 4.000 cars removed from the street.
To roughly calculate savings resulting from the installation of energy-efficient technologies, the GEFF Programme has developed an online Energy Savings Calculator. Households can easily calculate the savings they can reach by installing different technologies, depending on which energy source they use. They can also get information on how their activities affect greenhouse gas emissions.
The GEFF Programme has also created an online catalogue of energy-efficient products – Technology Selector where products which are at least 20% above standard ones when it comes to energy efficiency are available in one place. All products are checked and approved by independent engineers hired by EBRD. The Programme is even more attractive as it includes up to 20% grant from European Union.
The EBRD Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF) in Western Balkans provides finance for green economy investments in the residential sector as well as to businesses who provide energy efficiency and renewable energy products and services to households. The total volume of the credit line in the Western Balkans is 85 million EUR. Almost 5.000 energy efficient products have been registered and the investment go directly to local vendors to boost further the economy.
GEFF in the Western Balkans is implemented under the Regional Energy Efficiency Programme for the Western Balkans (REEP Plus), funded by the European Union and realised in cooperation with the Energy Community Secretariat. The Technical Cooperation programme under the Facility is supported by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance and the Western Balkan Investment Framework. The partnership with donors is central to promoting the high-performing green technologies and practices.
For more information visit GEFF in Serbia Facebook page which offers free tips on energy efficient products and brands that are eligible.