EBRD extends first green residential loans to UniCredit in Bosnia and Herzegovina

By Axel  Reiserer

EBRD extends first green residential loans to UniCredit in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Support for energy efficiency in residential sector

The EBRD is extending two loans to Unicredit in Bosnia and Herzegovina to support urgently needed energy efficiency investments in the residential sector. This sector is the largest energy consumer in terms of share of total final energy consumption in the country.

Unicredit Bank d.d. Mostar and Uncredit Bank a.d. Banja Luka will receive a €7 million and a €5 million loan, respectively, for on-lending to individuals, housing collectives, producers, suppliers and vendors of green technologies and service providers for investments in projects in line with the EBRD Green Economy Transition (GET) approach.

These loans are provided under the EBRD Green Economy Financing Facility, which is being launched to support residential energy efficiency investments in the Western Balkans. The facility is supported by grant funding from the European Western Balkans Joint Fund under the Western Balkans Investment Framework, the EU and Austria.

The funds will finance urgently needed investments in the residential sector to reduce energy losses and improve energy efficiency through the modernisation of existing apartments and buildings. Examples include high-performance domestic appliances, energy efficient windows and glazing, thermal insulation, energy efficient boilers and many more.

Under GET the Bank seeks to increase the volume of green financing to 40 per cent of its Annual Bank Investment by 2020. “Green” is one of the six qualities the EBRD has identified as a core element of a successful economy, with the others being competitive, inclusive, integrated, resilient and well-governed.

Henry Russell, EBRD Director, Financial Institutions, Western Balkans, Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine, commented: “We are proud to extend these loans to Unicredit Bank Mostar and Unicredit Bank Banja Luka as our first partners under the programme. This will send a strong signal to the market where the demand for energy efficiency investments is huge, yet largely unfulfilled. Improvements in this area will benefit the environment as well as residents who will enjoy better living conditions at lower cost.”

Dalibor Ćubela, CEO of UniCredit Bank d.d. Mostar, said: ‘’UniCredit Bank as a leader in the market has an important role in improving its services, bringing our clients the best products and offers. We recognise the importance of  energy efficiency and Green Economy Transition and we are very honoured to be the first in the market to offer loans which will save money for our clients and ensure us all a brighter and healthier future.’’

Gordan Pehar, CEO of UniCredit Bank a.d. Banja Luka, added: ‘’UniCredit Bank Banja Luka supports energy efficiency projects, and the energy efficiency loan aims to help educate the market in energy saving and to influence the awareness of energy efficient materials, and moreover to make these materials available on favourable terms. We are pleased that we are recognised by the EBRD as a socially responsible company and a partner in the project of energy efficiency.”

Since the beginning of its operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EBRD has invested more than €2 billion in almost 140 projects in the country.