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26 Jan 2023

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European Bank and EU Work with Serbia in Green Push to Renovate Buildings

Posted with permission from ESG Impact Zone.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union (EU) are helping Serbia to improve the energy efficiency of its public buildings with a 14-million euro financial package.

The package, which includes a 12-million euro EBRD loan and a 2-million euro grant from the EU, will help finance energy efficient retrofit measures in 80 public buildings, including education, healthcare, administrative, sports and cultural buildings, across 20 municipalities in Vojvodina. These buildings will be renovated with thermal insulation, new windows, upgraded heating, ventilation and cooling systems, and energy efficient lighting.

The improvements are expected to contribute to primary energy reduction of 53 per cent and annual CO2 emission reductions of 56 per cent.

Matteo Colangeli, EBRD Director for the Western Balkans, said: "With soaring energy prices, speeding up renovation in the building sector is vital for energy savings and security. Lower energy consumption will benefit the public authorities and energy systems as a whole. Together with the EU and other donors, the EBRD will continue to provide funding and technical support to the authorities to make investments in energy efficiency much more affordable and easier to prepare and implement."

In addition to the grant from the EU, the project also benefits from close to 2 million euro in grants for technical cooperation, provided by Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and Italy through Central European Initiative (CEI).

Buildings account for around 34 per cent of energy consumption in Serbia. Renovations can help lower consumption and CO2 emissions, but significant effort is needed to stimulate and prioritise these investments, especially in the multi-apartment residential sector.

The EBRD has been promoting energy efficiency in Serbia's building sector by providing financing for the renovation of public buildings in Belgrade, residential buildings in Sabac, and through its specialised credit lines, channelled by partner banks, for individual homeowners. In addition, the EBRD is preparing the first phase of the residential energy efficiency programme with the Ministry of Mining and Energy and numerous municipalities across Serbia.

The Bank has also been helping Serbia harmonise its legislation with the EU acquis in the field of energy efficiency as part of the EU-funded Regional Energy Efficiency Programme.

The EBRD is the leading institutional investor in Serbia with more than 7.9 billion euro invested to date.

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