Advising on energy efficiency

Project description

Title: Advisory services for energy efficiency in Serbia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Serbia
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Mining and Energy; Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure
Overall term: 2008 to 2016

Serbia. Thermal images show heat loss. © GIZ

Energy efficiency in Serbia is currently at a low level. The country’s per capita energy consumption is four times that of Germany. The energy required to heat buildings is two-and-a-half times higher than the European average. The poor technical condition of many buildings is causing high energy losses. These losses are at great cost to Serbia as 40 per cent of its energy has had to be imported up until now. Reducing energy consumption would not only improve the balance of trade – enhancing energy efficiency would also contribute to climate change mitigation.

To date, the country has lacked sufficient knowledge about potentials and technologies for reducing energy consumption in order to make buildings more energy efficient. Private households are inadequately informed about how to use energy efficiently. Public and private support measures are only implemented sporadically and in an uncoordinated manner.

The Serbian Government aims to significantly increase the energy efficiency of buildings. Under the Second National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP), buildings are to reduce their energy consumption by nine per cent by 2018 compared with 2008. As a candidate for accession to the EU, Serbia has committed to progressively bringing its energy efficiency legislation in line with EU directives and standards.

The Serbian Government is successfully implementing the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan for the buildings sector.

Serbia. Exhibition on energy efficiency in 30 municipalities. © GIZ

The project supports Serbia with the introduction of energy performance certificates that comply with EU requirements. They are a prerequisite for EU accession and allow the energy consumption of buildings to be compared. Pertinent guidelines and recommendations for proposed legislation are being elaborated in close cooperation with the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure. An interministerial steering group involving the two participating ministries is also being advised.

A data management system is being established for the central registration of energy performance certificates. Engineers are undergoing training on how to work with the system. The project also supports the development of continuing training services for energy consultants who are to advise house owners on energy costs and ways of saving energy.

The project is preparing an overview of financing opportunities for energy-saving measures in residential buildings. A brochure informs house and apartment owners about the steps entailed in refurbishing buildings to make them more energy efficient. This brochure is being distributed in partnership with the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities of Serbia.

The project advises municipalities on ways to collect and analyse data on the energy efficiency of residential buildings. A local energy efficiency strategy has been developed in one municipality in a pilot project together with the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Belgrade and the Serbian Statistical Office.

The project is supporting a further five communities in preparing regional energy efficiency action plans for residential buildings. A handbook about the procedure and results allows other municipalities to work out an action plan for their municipality on their own.

Some 190 representatives from 114 municipalities have attended information events held by the Ministry of Construction about the national data management system for energy performance certificates, legislation and energy efficiency guidelines in the buildings sector. A simple method has been presented for documenting the residential building stock. So far 23 municipalities have used this method and obtained an initial assessment of their energy saving potential. One municipality devised a strategic approach to improving energy efficiency for residential buildings and an action plan for 2017. Another five municipalities are pursuing this approach.

The data management system for the central registration of energy performance certificates has been set up with project support and is in a test phase. Licensed engineering firms authorised to access the system have entered 190 of Serbia's 1,000 energy performance certificates. The Ministry of Energy has already performed an initial assessment with the help of this data.

In the continuing training activities supported by GIZ, 428 of the 1,550 energy consultants have now familiarised themselves with EU energy efficiency rules for buildings.

GIZ is supporting in-service training for lecturers of the one-year postgraduate course Energy Efficiency of Buildings at the University of Belgrade. A total of 48 participants successfully completed this course in 2016.

Serbia. Example of an EU-compliant energy performance certificate. © GIZ


Renate Schindlbeck