EBRD supports energy efficiency investments in Šabac, western Serbia

By Olga Rosca
@olgarosca

EBRD supports energy efficiency investments in Šabac, western Serbia

  • EBRD boosts investments in energy efficiency in Serbia
  • Šabac to upgrade residential buildings
  • Project to serve as a pilot for other Serbian cities

Citizens of the Serbian city of Šabac will benefit from an EBRD financed investment to improve energy efficiency of residential buildings. Šabac is located in western Serbia on the right bank of the river Sava in the fertile Mačva region and has a population of over 50,000.

The EBRD is providing a €2.5 million loan for an upgrade of up to 40 multi-storey residential buildings leading to lower energy consumption, reduced costs and lower CO2 levels in the city.

Refurbishment will include thermo-insulation as well as the installation of modern devices that can regulate heat and calculate consumption and heating costs. 40 buildings have been selected based on interest expressed by tenants in a survey conducted by housing associations in 2018, with priority given to buildings with higher consumption and larger heating areas.

The project will be implemented by Šabac’s district heating company, a public utility company fully-owned by the city of Šabac.

Zsuzsanna Hargitai, EBRD Regional Head for Western Balkans, said: “We are delighted to support the initiative and financing model of the Šabac district heating company for energy efficiency in housing blocks and we look forward to replicating this model and supporting similar initiatives across Serbia.”

The residential sector is one of the biggest consumers of energy in Serbia, where the average energy consumption is up to three times higher than in developed European countries. Old building stock constructed between the 1950s and 1980s with insufficient or no thermal insulation generates high energy losses. Estimates show that energy efficiency could be improved by up to 70 per cent.

The city of Šabac is one of the pioneers in energy efficiency measures in the residential buildings sector in Serbia. In addition to Šabac, the EBRD is also working with the authorities of Vojvodina, an autonomous region in northern Serbia, where it seeks to support energy efficiency investments in 80 public buildings such as schools, kindergartens, and administrative buildings.

Support for energy efficiency projects is a core part of the EBRD’s mandate and the Bank is scaling up its support in green projects in Serbia.

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Serbia where it has invested more than €5 billion across 238 projects in the country to date. The EBRD supports private sector development and the transformation towards a green economy and invests in infrastructure to boost connectivity in the Western Balkans region.