Focus On - October 2010
Experience: Structural Funds and Energy Efficiency in Buildings
The Kaunas Regional Energy Agency (KREA) was founded in June 2003 under the SAVE II Programme. KREA is legally recognised as a public institution. As an energy agency, KREA works with public building owners – particularly in schools and kindergartens – to help find the best solutions to reduce energy consumption and potentially install RES (Renewable energy sources) devices.
In order to prepare applications, one of the main activities of the agency is to carry out energy audits. The energy audit consists of the technical and economical evaluation of the public building examined. The Agency submits a report to the local authority, including suggestions and recommendations on how to improve the energy performance of the building.
From 2005 to 2009, Kaunas Energy Agency carried out energy audits and prepared reports for 18 schools and 16 kindergartens, which served as the basis for future funding applications. The stakeholders of KREA can receive financial support through the Cohesion Promotion Operational Programme.
With the help of the energy agency to guide them through complex procedures, the technical department of the school’s administration submits a proposal for the rehabilitation of the building to the local authority and to the Lithuanian Business Support Agency, in view of obtaining structural funds. In Lithuania, the Lithuanian Business Support Agency – together with the Ministry of Economy – manages the allocation of Structural Funds.
Through the Operational Programme in Lithuania (2007-2013), the energy renovation of public buildings at regional level resulted in 134 contracts, with a combined value of 184.4 million Lithuanian Litas (LTL) – approx. €53.4 million – of which 77.1 million LTL (approx. €22.33 million) was confirmed expenditure. Through the allocation of 15.5 million LTL (approx. €4.5 million) fourteen projects have already been completed.
The activity of KREA – i.e. technical assistance and the preparation of energy audits with technical-economical evaluation reports – resulted in the allocation of more than 11 millions LTL (approx. €3.2 million) from the Structural Funds. At this stage, in Kaunas, 12 schools or kindergartens have already received funding.
KREA presented the experiences of their initiative on 5 October 2010 at the Intelligent Energy – Europe workshop of the Open Days event.
Presentation of KREA at the Open Days workshop: "Experience: Structural Funds and Energy Efficiency in Buildings"
This IEE project aims to contribute to the implementation of Structural and Cohesion Funds (SCF) by promoting the use of SCF in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
The fact sheet of the IEE project is available on the IEE website in the section "PROJECTS".
A new Intelligent Energy – Europe project is tackling the issue of Structural and Cohesion Funds (SCF) as these represent a huge potential for funding the implementation of sustainable energy action plans in regions and cities. Results from the previous projects dealing with the use of structural funds for sustainable energy projects have identified several barriers for using SCF to fund sustainable energy projects. Therefore the SF-Energy Invest project (Collaborative Actions for Triggering Investments in Sustainable Energy Actions using Regional and Structural Funds) is set-up to tackle these barriers, with the aim to increase the share of SCF money that is spent on sustainable energy within the final phase of the programming period (2007-2013).
Target groups include the potential beneficiaries under the energy-related Operational Programmes of SCF, in particular municipalities participating in the Covenant of Mayors. Also, the managing authorities of the Structural and Cohesion Funds play an important role, as well as other stakeholders such as banks. On the one hand the project will provide practical support in the development of SCF project proposals in pilot regions and on the other hand it will increase awareness through EU mobilisation campaigns. In addition, the project will identify recommendations for the upcoming SCF programming period (2014-2020).
For more information, please contact the project coordinator: NL Agency, Mr Sliman Abu Amara; e-mail: email@example.com.