Supporting energy savings in Romania's public sector

The EBRD has helped Romanian municipalities achieve wide-ranging energy management solutions that promote energy efficiency.

In Romania the national government is aiming to achieve a 20% energy saving target by 2020. In order to reach this objective, Energy Service Companies, or ESCOs, have an important role to play in the country’s energy market.

A global model

ESCOs are used worldwide to offer a broad range of services including the design, financing and construction of energy-saving projects. Usually all the energy-saving measures are provided at no cost to the client, as the ESCO recovers its investments and returns on these investments based on the energy and cost savings achieved. For this, the ESCO will typically use energy performance and energy supply contracting models, which allow the funding of energy efficiency upgrades from energy cost reductions.

€10 million loan for Romanian energy efficiency

In July 2011, the EBRD granted a €10 million corporate loan to EnergoBit ESCO, a subsidiary of EnergoBit Group SA, and one of the country’s largest electrical engineering companies.

The project financed a pipeline of energy efficiency projects primarily in the Romanian municipal sector. The 10-year loan builds on the EBRD’s ongoing extensive technical assistance programme to local authorities to prepare, tender and implement energy efficiency improvements based on energy performance contracting. This highlights the Bank’s long-standing commitment to supporting the public sector in Romania in the present uncertain market conditions.

Through this loan, EnergoBit ESCO will provide the resources and skills needed to finance energy-saving initiatives for its clients, mainly Romanian municipalities and private companies, at a time when local funding remains scarce.

Broad range of applications

EnergoBit Group has an estimated pipeline of €45 million in projects to be implemented over the next 10 years. It is planned that the EBRD’s loan will be used to fund the most mature projects. The projects will range from installing energy efficient public lighting and introducing combined heat and power generation plants in the municipal sector, as well as implementing small-scale co-generation projects for industrial clients.

For example, as part of the investment programme three municipalities – Suceava, Satu Mare and Zalau – will be able to upgrade street lighting systems, while co-generation units will be installed in Clujana’s city hospital, in Toplita and Bistrita.

Presently, Cluj-based EnergoBit Group operates 17 companies across the country with over 800 employees of whom around 120 are specialised engineers. Recently EnergoBit has been involved in renewable energy projects with private investors, as well as energy efficiency activities primarily within the Romanian municipal sector.