Increasing Energy Efficiency in Serbian Municipalities

Wood pellet fired boiler in a primary school in Raška

“With energy efficiency measures implemented and mindful consumption, we could save up to 30% annually on our energy bills, and use the savings for other purposes that benefit the local community,” – Aleksandra Stojiljković, City of Leskovac Energy Manager

In line with the National Energy Efficiency Action Plan and the EU Directive on Energy Efficiency, Serbia committed itself to reach a national indicative energy savings target of nine per cent in the period between 2010 and 2018. According to the Law on Efficient Use of Energy, municipalities with 20,000 citizens or more (85 in total) must appoint energy managers, adopt energy efficiency plans and programmes, implement energy efficiency measures and achieve energy savings targets.

In partnership with the Ministry of Mining and Energy, and with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), UNDP works to improve the energy and cost efficiency of public buildings and municipal services in Serbia, as well as to increase investments in the energy efficiency of public facilities. The project “Energy Management Systems in municipalities throughout Serbia” combines donor funds, state budget funds for energy efficiency and municipal resources.

At the national level, UNDP has provided expert support for initiating, drafting or improving laws, regulations and policies related to municipal energy management, including the Law on Efficient Use of Energy, Government Decrees and Rulebooks governing municipal energy efficiency. The UNDP-developed EMIS, Energy Management Information System, was included as a mandatory tool within the official Energy Management System of the Republic of Serbia.

At the local level, 13 public buildings in 13 municipalities throughout Serbia were the first to be selected as demonstration sites, where energy efficiency improvements were carried out. Significant energy savings and reductions in CO2 emissions showed other local governments the value of such measures. UNDP assisted 29 municipalities and three towns in implementing their Energy Efficiency Programmes and Plans.

With project support, local energy management offices were established in 12 municipalities and 150 municipal technicians learned how to improve energy management at the local level, while 125 training participants later obtained a license for Municipal Energy Manager and 611 public servants were trained how to enter data into EMIS. Additionally, 50 engineers learned how to manage Energy Efficiency of large public buildings, while 42 obtained a license for Building Energy Manager.

Impact of 13 demonstration site improvements:• Estimated energy savings: 2 million kWh/year

• Estimated C02 emission reduction: 1,500 tonnes annually