EBRD and EU promote energy efficiency in Bosnia and Herzegovina

By Bojana Vlajcic

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  • Buildings will use significantly less electricity and heat, lower CO2 emissions
  • €4.5 million EBRD loan to finance energy efficiency investments in 20 public buildings
  • €1.5 million investment grant and technical assistance support from the EU

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union (EU) are stepping up support for Bosnia and Herzegovina by providing a €6 million financial package to help it improve the energy efficiency of its public buildings.

The package includes a €4.5 million EBRD loan and a €1 million investment grant from the EU, and will finance energy efficiency measures in 20 public buildings in Republika Srpska, including 16 schools and 3 hospitals. In addition, the EU is providing a €500,000 technical assistance grant for project implementation.

The energy measures will include thermal insulation, new windows, upgraded heating, ventilation and cooling systems, and energy efficient lighting. Once these improvements have been made, managers will be appointed to monitor the energy consumption and performance of each building.

The improvements are expected to reduce annual CO2 emissions by 90 per cent, heat consumption by around 80 per cent and electricity consumption by 63 per cent.

Manuela Naessl, EBRD Head of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said: “We are extremely happy to see this project signed, not only because it is aimed at improving energy efficiency in schools and hospitals, but also because this is a novel business model that will see public buildings contributing to loan repayment from achieved energy savings.”

The investment will be implemented with support from the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund of Republika Srpska. Public buildings are expected to share at least 50 per cent of energy savings with the Fund during the loan tenor to help with the repayment. This type of energy efficiency fund transactions is the first of its kind, not only in Republika Srpska, but also in the wider Western Balkans region.

The EU funds are secured from the Regional Energy Efficiency Programme, which is supported by the EBRD, the European Union, bilateral donors and beneficiary countries cooperating under the Western Balkans Investment Framework.

The EBRD and EU are also supporting energy efficiency improvements in public buildings of Sarajevo. The project, which includes renovating 40 public buildings, is already under way.

Since it began operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1996, the EBRD has invested €2.7 billion in 193 projects in the country.

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