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Energy efficiency regulatory reform

The EBRD is fully committed to supporting its countries of operations in achieving secure, efficient and affordable energy supplies, while ensuring that environmental and sustainability concerns are fully addressed. Experience has shown that energy efficiency can be a cost-effective way to improve energy security and reduce energy investment needs while promoting regional economic competitiveness.

Accordingly, the EBRD is an active investor and technical cooperation provider in a variety of sustainable energy areas, such as power sector energy efficiency, industrial energy efficiency, corporate/commercial energy efficiency, renewable energy, municipal infrastructure energy efficiency and energy efficiency of buildings. For further details of the Bank’s activities in this area please refer to the Sustainable Energy Initiative.

Energy efficiency in buildings

Why reform is needed

Buildings account for up to 40% of energy consumption in many EBRD countries of operation. A significant proportion of these buildings are not properly isolated or heated which results in high energy bills, inefficient energy spending, deterioration of the building fabric and poor living conditions. Accordingly, with refurbishments to address these deficiencies there exists great potential for significant energy saving. Regrettably, relatively little investment has been made in this area to date, with the legal and regulatory framework often being amongst the key barriers to the attraction of adequate sustainable investment in the necessary energy-efficiency-based renovations.

The EBRD’s role

To address these issues the Bank has developed local-bank credit lines which provide financing for energy-saving measures in a number of countries; some of these measures including insulation of outdoor walls and roofs, replacing windows, and installing heat pumps, solar thermal collectors and high-efficiency gas and biomass boilers. To enable, sustain and maximise further private-sector financing of building energy efficiency, EBRD is supporting governments in developing the necessary legal and regulatory framework for the building sector. Even though many residential buildings in the EBRD region have been privatised (often at very low cost), the management structure (including operation and maintenance) is rarely adequate and often characterised by conflicting responsibilities between the flat owners and the municipality (related to, for example, ownership of and responsibility for common areas of residential buildings and/or the land). To overcome these deficiencies, EBRD can support governments in introducing reforms to buildings legislation and housing codes to ensure clear rights and responsibilities of stakeholders, minimum energy efficiency performance standards, inspection and auditing. A gradual movement to cost recovery in the energy sector and avoidance of cross subsidies is another essential component of a targeted energy efficiency policy.

International standards

EBRD supports the implementation of international best practices in the building sector, including the EU Directive on Energy Performance of Buildings 2002/91/EC, recast in 2010; the Energy End-Use Efficiency and Energy Services Directive 2006/32/EC; and Ecodesign (Energy Using Products) Directive 2005/32/EC and others.

EBRD Legal Transition Programme has recently initiated the development of a focus on policy, legal and regulatory issues in the Bank’s countries of operation.  As part of that focus, the Bank’s Legal Transition Team (LTT) has begun working with the authorities in selected countries of operations to support policy, legal and regulatory development sufficient to maximise investment into energy efficient refurbishment/upgrades.  Details of the projects that LTT is developing or implementing are detailed below.

Current project:

Moldova Energy Efficiency Regulatory Development

Working with the Ministry of Construction and Regional Development, this project is analysing the overall policy, legal, institutional and operational framework of urban housing stock in Moldova.  The findings from this analysis would be used when providing assistance to the Ministry in drafting primary and secondary legislation, and amendment of the housing codes.  More specifically, the project is reviewing existing legislation in the housing sector, providing comparative gap analysis with the best practice from central and eastern European countries as well as identifying opportunities for financing refurbishment of multi-storey housing stock, together with making recommendations on how a support programme could be structured.  The practical implementation of the project began in Chisinau in early September 2010 and the interim project output was presented at a public workshop (jointly hosted by the Ministry for Construction and Urban Development and the EBRD) in Chisinau on 10th November 2010. The project is funded by the Government of Sweden.

Last updated 1 February 2011