EBRD, EU and Austria support residential energy efficiency in Serbia

By Bojana Vlajcic

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  • Local currency EBRD loan of RSD 1.2 billion (€10 million equivalent) to Erste Bank Serbia for investments in energy efficiency
  • Additional EU-funded cashback incentive worth up to 20 per cent of loan amount
  • GEFF supported by EU, Austria and Western Balkans Investment Framework

More than 2,200 homeowners in Serbia have improved the energy efficiency of their homes with support from dedicated green loans and even more will be able to do so, thanks to a new RSD 1.2 billion credit line (€10 million equivalent) provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to Erste Bank.

The lender will offer these funds to households for investments in energy efficiency measures, such as insulation, windows, heat pumps and solar panels. After successfully implementing these measures, borrowers will be eligible for cashback of up to 20 per cent, funded by the European Union (EU).

The financing is secured from the €135 million Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF) programme for the Western Balkans, which supports energy-efficient solutions to build a greener and more sustainable economy. The programme is supported by the EU, the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance, and is part of the Regional Energy Efficiency Programme (REEP) for the Western Balkans.

Matteo Colangeli, EBRD Director for the Western Balkans region and Head of Serbia, said: “We are pleased that the GEFF programme is helping so many households in Serbia to achieve better energy efficiency standards, leading to lower electricity bills and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. We will continue working closely with our partners, the EU, Austria and the WBIF, to improve energy efficiency in the residential sector and lower energy intensity in the Western Balkans region.”

 Slavko Carić, CEO of Erste Bank Serbia, said: “Demand for green finance shows the importance of corporate responsibility in the field of sustainable investment and further development of green energy finance, as well as the need to raise citizens’ awareness of household energy efficiency. That is why we are pleased to sign the second credit line for energy efficiency in the residential sector with the EBRD. As one of the leading banks in renewable energy financing in Serbia, we work intensively to create an environment which promotes efficient management of resources and energy, building a healthier and safer environment in our country, as well as in the entire region.”

To date, the GEFF in Serbia has reached more than 2,200 households and provided loans of more than €7.6 million for individual projects, via partner financial institutions, that have contributed to savings exceeding 5,800 MWh of energy and a reduction of over 1,700 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. The most frequently financed technologies are windows and doors, insulation and heat pumps.

To date, around 7,000 households in the Western Balkans have improved their energy efficiency through the GEFF programme with investments in projects that contributed to a reduction of more than 10,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, equivalent to taking 6,000 cars off the road.

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