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Croatia has a significant potential for energy efficiency improvements – energy consumption per unit of GDP is more then 20 percent higher than the EU-15 average. To tap into this potential the Croatian Government decided to start the project: "Bringing Own House in Order".
The project is still active, but in the first two years of the project (2008-2010) it had already yielded remarkable results which are explained further below. The active involvement of the public administration in the implementation of energy efficiency projects in their own facilities, in addition to the Government's "lead-by-example" approach, is expected to trigger more actions in the commercial business sector as well as in households, which are the most rapidly growing energy consumer – currently responsible for more than 30 percent of the total energy consumption in Croatia.
The direct result of the reduction in energy consumption in public facilities will be the decrease in expenditures from the state budget, which will benefit all Croatian citizens – expenditures for energy and for operational costs of these facilities will be decreased. The money saved in this area can be allocated to other priority areas of general public interest.
Systematical Energy Management concept
The goal of the 'Bringing Own House in Order' programme is to fulfil Croatia’s obligation for CO2 emission reduction and to reduce costs for energy and water, which directly results in saving taxpayers’ money. It is estimated that the potential financial savings from energy and water in state administration buildings amounts to at least 10% without additional investments, and to 20-30% with minor investments. That translates into 40 – 130 million HRK (5.4 – 17.57 million EUR) and 25,000 to 7,000 t CO2 per year.
The first two years of implementation have delivered verified savings of 5.1 million HRK (520,000 EUR) and the potential for further savings of 3.7 million HRK (500,000 EUR) through no cost energy measures such as correctly managing electricity and heating energy tariff models.
Energy measures with investments of 300,000 HRK (40,000 EUR) have resulted in 2.3 million HRK (280,000 EUR) of financial savings, mostly through the repair of water leakages and the installation of reactive power compensators. Altogether, financial savings are 7.4 million HRK (around 1 million EUR) have so far been realised. Furthermore, as a direct result of energy audits, additional investments of 82 million HRK (11 million EUR) for energy efficient technologies have been identified and presented to the various Ministries in order to secure budget funds.
The projected financial savings are the result of the analysis of real energy and water consumption. The CO2 emissions are calculated according to the Regulation of building energy certification (National Gazette #74/07). In coordination with the Ministries, progress has been made in defining an energy efficiency team member position who will take over the programme activities during the roll-out phase. In addition 3,500 people from the public and commercial sector were educated through various courses on the subject of energy efficiency.
The key factors for success have been the high level of political support, the legislative framework which assisted the implementation of the programme and the overall recognition of the need for energy efficiency efforts at the national level. It is also important to communicate the benefits of conducting such programme activities to the building’s technical personnel – who are vital for conducting such activities on a day-to-day basis.
It would be easier to motivate public sector employees to carry out further energy savings if a portion of the financial savings could be used as a bonus for those who achieve the reduction. The best way to ensure the continuity of the activities would be to use a portion of the saved financial means for investment in further energy efficiency projects.
By developing methodology, contracting and supervising building energy audits, the capacity for this kind of service has been built, and as a result a strong market has been developed.
Market capacity building was also achieved through partnership with 25 companies that offer energy efficiency services and products and by communicating their advantages to potential customers via 67 EE info points all around Croatia. The programme has been recognised as a best practice in the region, and the same energy efficiency initiative has been applied in the public buildings sector of Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
UNDP Croatia, Energy efficiency project
Vlasta Zanki, PhD, project manager, UNDP
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