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New boost for residential energy efficiency in Moldova

By Olga Rosca

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is further boosting energy efficiency in Moldova with a new €2 million loan to Mobiasbancă - Groupe Société Générale.

The EBRD financing will be on-lent to individual households, groups of residents, housing associations, condominiums and cooperatives as well as home management companies, energy saving and service companies to help them finance improvements that will make homes more energy efficient.

The loan is part of the dedicated framework – the Moldovan Residential Energy Efficiency Financing Facility, or MoREEFF, which provides €35 million financing for energy efficiency improvements in individual households. MoREEFF is supported by a grant from the EU and Sweden to provide technical advice and investment incentives for homeowners.

EBRD Director for Caucasus, Moldova and Belarus Paul-Henri Forestier, who signed the deal, said: “I am pleased to extend this new financing to Mobiasbanca for residential energy efficiency just a month after we provided the bank with a loan for business energy efficiency. Housing has a huge potential for emissions savings, and this is a great opportunity for homeowners to save energy and the money that they pay in bills – a big financial burden for Moldovans.”

Energy efficiency is a top priority of the EBRD in Moldova, a country that imports more than 90 per cent of the energy it consumes and spends more than 30 per cent of its import budget on energy. At the same time the outmoded urban infrastructure, dilapidated communal housing and obsolete energy infrastructure lead to an enormous waste of resources at the consumer level. In some of the residential buildings thermal losses account for up to 50 per cent of heat consumption.

Since it was launched in the autumn of 2012, the MoREEFF has been helping 134 households to save energy and money, having committed €347,793 in loans via partner banks. These projects have helped save 814 MWh per year – enough energy to drive 30 times around the Equator. As a result CO2 emissions were reduced by 185 tonnes per year which would otherwise take a forest of 5ha and 7000 trees to absorb.

Ridha Tekaia, President of Mobiasbancă - Groupe Société Générale, said: “I am glad that we are continuing our collaboration with the EBRD and today we are joining Moldovan Residential Energy Efficiency Financing Facility, the facility specially designed for individuals, interested in improving their living conditions and implementing energy saving measures. Thereby, we give the opportunity to our private clients to obtain a loan at a better rate and to receive a grant component of up to 35 per cent from the granted loan after the successful implementation of the project. Moreover, joining this programme is in line with the model of social corporate responsibility implemented by Mobiasbanca and Société Générale group as a whole.”

A subsidiary of Groupe Société Générale SA, Mobiasbanca is Moldova’s sixth-largest commercial bank, serving over 87,000 active clients in corporate, SME and retail sectors through a network of 46 branches. Mobiasbanca has recently received a €3 million loan from the EBRD for on-lending to businesses for improved energy efficiency.

Besides investing in energy efficiency improvements, the EBRD is actively supporting the Ministry of Construction and Regional Development in amending the Law on Energy Efficiency and the Housing Codes, creating a legal framework that will enable homeowners’ associations and condominiums to borrow money in order to invest in more efficient materials and equipment. This is part of a greater effort to help Moldova increase its energy security.

The EBRD, one of the largest investors in Moldova, has to date signed 96 investment projects in the country, covering energy, transport, agribusiness, general industry and banking sectors, for a cumulative amount of €743 million.

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