Kyiv, August 20, 2015. According to Tetiana Boyko, coordinator of the OPORA Civic Network utility programs, Ukrainian apartment buildings consume two to three times more energy than similar buildings in the European Union. “Ukrainian households waste 65 percent of heat”, said Boyko during a press conference at Ukraine Crisis Media Center, “This is due to the fact that houses that were built in Soviet times and in the first years of independence do not meet generally accepted European standards of energy efficiency.”
An important step in improving the energy efficiency of apartment buildings, according to Roman Zinchenko, head of the Greencubator Ukrainian Network of Energy Innovations, is to change energy consumption patterns. Primarily, this model involves the perception of buildings as an integrated energy system that needs comprehensive insulation.
“The energy market must be transformed from vendor market into consumer one. The role of the state today is to give the consumer an opportunity to choose the best seller. This would significantly improve service quality and encourage energy saving,” said Zinchenko.
One of the integrated energy saving tools is the State Energy Efficiency Program, particularly the loans for energy efficient equipment and materials provided by state banks.
Iryna Horetska, head of Oschadbank product development and support, said that any condominium association chairperson might apply for insulation modernization loans. In case of a positive decision, condominiums can also expect a reimbursement of 70 percent of the loan from the state according to the Cabinet of Ministers resolution adopted on August 12, 2015.
“Every month the bank sends a register of borrowers to the State Energy Efficiency Agency. The agency verifies the data, and transfers compensation to the bank account within a month. It is then distributed among all borrowers,” said Horetska, “In the current budget period reimbursement comes without delay.”
Ihor Cherkashyn, member of the Expert Energy Efficiency Platform, outlined steps to be taken for improving the program. He emphasized the importance of installing heat meters in apartment buildings, which will allow evaluating the insulation modernization effectiveness.
An effective energy efficiency tool is the development of comprehensive energy modernization projects for the main series of typical houses. This would save condominium loans in the preparation of project documentation, as a typical project adaptation is much cheaper than developing all documents.
According to Cherkashyn, there is a problem of a non-professional approach to multi-storied buildings insulation. “The lack of energy audit and cheaper materials insulation cannot provide a long-term solution of the problem. As a result, we see that condominiums require not only financial resources, but also professional consultations concerning insulation modernization work,” Cherkashyn summarized.