Croatian public sector makes millions in cost savings due to implementation of EE projects

23 Sep 2013

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Zagreb, September 23rd 2013.
– Gallery Klović (Klovićevi Dvori) was host to today’s closing ceremony of the project Encouraging Energy Efficiency in Croatia (EE Project), which was present during the past eight years in state, regional and local authorities This occasion observed a ceremonial transfer of the project activities in the public sector, in accordance with the agreement between United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Ministry of Construction and Physical Planning, the Agency for Transactions and Mediation in Immovable Properties, as well as the Fund for Protection of the Environment and Energy Efficiency. 

Starting in 2005, the EE project aimed to help the public sector build a foundation for systematic and efficient energy governance, providing them with the necessary tools, skills and knowledge to succeed. In the eight years of the project’s execution, more than 29.000 public officials have been educated. Moreover, an Informative System for Energy Efficiency has been developed as a key tool for monitoring and analyzing energy consumption in more than 75% of public buildings.

“We are extremely proud of the achieved results through the implementation of the national project which encourages energy efficiency,” stated
Louisa Vinton, Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative of the UN Development Programme in Croatia. “Although the project is almost done, this story does not stop here. We are happy that the tools and knowledge developed through this project's implementation, including the number of experts who worked on the development, will find their place in national institutions which will continue to strive towards our common goals. ”

Vesna Bukarica, Head of the Sector for Energy Efficiency at the Fund for Protection of the Environment and Energy Efficiency, stated in her speech that from its inception, the Fund has co-financed more than 2.000 projects from the energy efficiency field and OIE, with more than 770 million kunas. “The total number of investments which have been initiated this way amount to over 2, 9 billion kunas. A significant place within this portfolio is taken by the EE project. the total amount of paid funds is almost 87 million kunas which have been intended for the activities of the SGE and HIO projects, as well as the all encompassing informative and educative campaign which significantly raised awareness of Croatian citizens regarding the need for rational energy governance,” added Bukarica. “The activity transfer agreement calls for the Fund to take over a great part of the project activities, including cooperation and professional support to state institutions on a local and regional level through systematic energy governance, support in implementing energy examinations and energy certificates of public buildings, as well as the continuation of informative and educative activities. In the next period, the Fund will continue to actively support projects which improve energy efficiency and increase the usage of renewable energy sources, so that Croatia can reach its assigned goals of reduced carbon emission,” stated Bukarica.

“On behalf of the Agency for Transactions and Mediation in Immovable Properties I can say that it is my pleasure and at the same time a great responsibility to take over activities of such a big and important project. In accordance with the transfer of activities agreement, the Agency takes over a coordinating role in the implementation of the systematic energy governance in the public sector as well as the administration and the development of ISGE system,“ clarified
Slavko Čukelj, the Agency's director. He later announced the development of a special sector which will be dedicated solely to the activities of energy governance on a national level.

During the presentation of the project's results,
Goran Čačić, leader of the EE project, stated that the overall estimated savings, due to the systematic energy governance from 2010 until the end of 2012, have been greater than 113 million kunas, indicating a 6, 40% yearly increase. “Assuming the same trend will take place again as it did in 2012, by September 2013the amount will equal to 150 million kunas. All this was achieved with a very small number of entire building reconstruction projects. Through the implementation of more concrete projects of energy reconstruction, we estimate that the additional potential of savings is enormous and is between 30—50%. This fact alone represents the basic motive for a continuation and expansion of EE project activities, ”concluded Čačić.

Teams for energy governance (EE Teams) shared their experiences in energy policy and their achieved savings with regional, local, and state administrative institutions. Following the presentation of the projects and their enormous accomplishment in saving millions of kunas, Professor
Davor Pavuna held a very interesting lecture and discussion with distinguished Croatian experts from these areas. The lecture focused mainly on energy in Croatia, the future of sustainable energy, and the role of the public sector in supporting energy efficiency and promoting sustainable habits to the general public.

During the closing ceremony on Gradec plateau, an Info Day for energy efficiency was organized for the citizens of Zagreb and participants of the ceremony. Those present had a chance to look around the info mobile and partner company stands with displayed EE products and systems. They also received a free consultation from EE experts regarding the measures of saving energy within a household. EE Info Day has also been visited by the students of Zagreb technical schools in order to learn about the practical implementation of EE systems.

Over the past 8 years, EE projects have been implemented by the UNDP, Ministry of Construction and Physical Planning with the support of the Fund for Environment Protection and Energy Efficiency as well as the Global Fund for the environment.