Ukraine: Energy efficiency in municipalities

16.12.2016 – Building retrofits combined with training for energy-efficiency experts cut annual energy consumption by up to ten per cent.

Ukraine faces major challenges. Conflict in the eastern part of the country and over the Crimean peninsula, which has been ongoing since 2014, is not the only burden on what is Europe’s largest country in terms of surface area. Demand for energy is high, especially in the cold winters, making the country dependent on gas supplies from abroad. Compounding this, the country is among the weakest proponents of energy efficiency worldwide. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH started working in Ukraine as far back as 1992, providing advice on ways to improve energy efficiency, among other things.

On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ is currently helping Ukrainian municipalities to train experts and implement energy-efficiency upgrades, for example. These efforts are proving successful: initial measures have already enabled municipalities to cut annual energy consumption by up to ten per cent – with further savings in sight. Nursery schools have undergone comprehensive energy retrofits and have been equipped with solar installations, slashing energy consumption there by up to 50 per cent. ‘The money saved can now be invested where it is needed. At long last children have warm rooms in winter, and there is enough money for other vital investment. This allows us to continue to improve the children’s learning environment and living conditions,’ notes Sabine Müller, GIZ country director in Ukraine, speaking at an event organised by GIZ and rbb inforadio on 6 December in Berlin.

On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), GIZ is also helping to set up energy agencies. The port city of Odessa is the first in the country to benefit from its own municipal energy agency, which raises public awareness of ways to save energy and helps the city and its citizens cut energy costs. For instance, it has introduced an urban energy monitoring system that measures the energy consumption of more than 500 municipal properties. The measures are based on careful evaluation of the data supplied by the system and deliver direct energy savings of around five per cent.