Public Awareness about Energy Efficiency in Buildings Needed in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Public Awareness about Energy Efficiency in Buildings Needed in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Reducing energy consumption is one of the main development objectives of the European Union, whose members are committed to increase the share of renewable energy to 20 percent and improve energy efficiency by 20 percent by 2020. Bosnia and Herzegovina has committed itself to these EU principles as well. The most documents of the European

Reducing energy consumption is one of the main development objectives of the European Union, whose members are committed to increase the share of renewable energy to 20 percent and improve energy efficiency by 20 percent by 2020. Bosnia and Herzegovina has committed itself to these EU principles as well.

The most documents of the European Union in the field of energy efficiency of buildings are Directives 2002/91/EC and 2010/31/EC on the energy performance of buildings. It imposes an obligation of saving energy in buildings as well as in the EU candidate countries, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Under the current EU legislation, the Directive provides for the maximum annual energy consumption in buildings by 95 kWh (kilowatt hours) per square meter. The buildings in BiH consume more than 200 kWh/m2 of energy per year, while in private houses these indicators are around 350 KWh/m2.

Director of the Center for Education and Raising Awareness of Energy Efficiency “ENERGIS” Hamid Mehinovic claims for “Avaz” that although lately there have been positive shifts among citizens of awareness of energy efficiency, however the awarenesss level is still very low.

– BiH citizens are in the need of one country wide awareness raising campaign about energy efficiency. On the other hand, it is difficult to “compel” citizens who are on the district heating system to save heating energy because they do not pay per kilowatt hour, they pay the bills for the actual energy consumption, but per square meter.

Energis is constantly working to increase awareness of energy efficiency in buildings and industry both through projects funded by international and local organizations as well as from its own resources and initiative – says
Mehinovic.

Mehinovic emphasized that the Republic of Srpska has adopted the Law on Energy Efficiency while at the same law in the Federation BiH is in the parliamentary procedure and is expected to be adopted in the next month or two. What is needed, says Mehinovic, are laws that need to be harmonized with EU directives.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, as a signatory to the Energy Community Treaty, obliged itself to transpose three main EU directives on energy efficiency in domestic legislation ‘on the energy performance of buildings, on the labeling of energy consumption, and the end-use efficiency and energy services.

He added that the Federation has made a step forward, bringing a number of regulations, including Regulation on energy certification of buildings, according to which any new building must conduct energy audits and to have an energy certificate.

-Existing dwellings that are sold, issued or lease would have to display energy certificate for inspection. Public buildings with a useful floor area of more than 500 square meters will have to demonstrate energy certificate in a visible place – says Mehinovic.

He states that buildings are the largest single consumer of energy, with about 57 percent of the total energy in BiH, and thus a large polluter of the environment. In this regard, he added, the buildings have the greatest potential for energy and environmental savings and are increasingly emphasized in modern and energy-efficient construction.

-Some of the most basic and most feasible energy efficiency measures are certainly thermal insulation, replacement windows and doors with energy efficient windows and doors, as well as the replacement of energy-efficient lighting, household appliances and energy-conscious living lifestyle. Due to the constantly rising energy prices, citizens are
increasingly turning to energy-efficiency measures – highlights Mehinovic.

Sanjin Avdic, Head of UNDP BiH for Energy and Environment in Sarajevo, said for “Avaz” that investing in energy efficiency in buildings can be economically justified taking into account the state of the buildings across the country.

– If we take the inescapable fact of constant growth of energy prices the viability is even greater. As an illustration, UNDP BiH in the past three years invested a total of $ 4.2 million in measures to increase energy efficiency of public buildings throughout the country and thus realized 38 projects. The average payback period of these infrastructure measures is less than six years, with total realized savings of $ 700,000 per year, thus reducing the emission of 2,200 tons of CO2 per year and direct employment of local labor – says Avdic.

He points out that UNDP works closely with the entity funds for environmental protection and in addition to increasing energy efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions, the employment of local labor is increased.

– Buildings built 30 or 50 years ago have the greatest potential for improving energy efficiency because of unfavorable energy characteristics of the building envelope. When you look at a techno-economic analysis of such structures it is clear that they are actually the most ideal investment because their payback period is minimum and can go up to only six years – said Avdic.

He added that Bosnia and Herzegovina has several years to go towards the regulation of energy efficiency issues in buildings, and comprehensive resolution of issues in this area, which includes the sectors of industry, transport and services.

However, we note that, without strategic orientations clear objectives to achieve an increase in energy efficiency and more clearly allocation of responsibilities regarding the implementation of these goals “we will continue to move in a circle, without substantial changes.” He added that the first step was the adoption of the Law on Energy Efficiency
in RS, and hopes the early adoption of the Federation, which, he says, is the key starting point!

Renewable Energy Projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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