The EU and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced €30 million in funding to help Western Balkan states improve their energy efficiency.The €30 million ($31.8 million) will be used to increase the deployment of energy efficiency initiatives under the Regional Energy Efficiency Programme (REEP) in Eastern and South-eastern European countries.
According to The Financial, the funding will improve the reliability of grid networks of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia through increased adoption of clean energy resources.
In addition to the €30 million, the REEP programme will receive €4.5 million ($4.7 million) from the Austrian government and the private sector to finance the drafting and implementation of policies to improve investments in clean energy and energy efficiency projects.
The REEP will use the capital to develop a new regional platform to provide funding toward energy efficiency programmes for residential consumers.
Anca Ioana Ionescu, head of the EBRD in Macedonia, said: “Energy efficiency projects typically entail significant up-front spending, subsequently recovered through energy savings achieved over a long period, particularly in the construction sector.
“Availability of long-term financing to financial intermediaries who appreciate the economics of energy efficiency investments is therefore necessary to support the sector.” [UK energy efficiency spending increases – report].
Residential energy efficiency initiatives
Meanwhile, in the US, utility Burlington Electric Department expanded its energy efficiency programme with energy management solutions firm Vermont Gas Systems.
The utility’s energy efficiency initiative, energyChamp, is now available to residential customers in Burlington city in Vermont State.
The decision by the Burlington Electric Department to expand its energy efficiency programme to residential consumers, follows the utility’s success in helping owners of multi-unit residential apartments to significantly reduce their energy usage and costs in the first phase.
The utility started implementing energy efficiency initiatives for its business customers in June 2015.
Since the launch of energyChamp, 163 residential apartments were registered to participate in the energy efficiency programme and 63 secured energy efficiency upgrades to save a total of $647,000 in customers' utility bills. Read more...
Image credit: www.europeanwesternbalkans.com.