BiH remains one of the most energy inefficient countries in Europe – with EU support this can change

At least 4,000 residential buildings and at least 400 micro, small and medium enterprises in Bosnia and Herzegovina will soon receive financial support from the European Union’s Energy Support Package to improve their energy efficiency. At an expert discussion today organised by the EU Office in BiH and held at the INTERA Technology Park in Mostar, experts in the field of energy efficiency, representatives of institutions and the private sector, and the Head of EU Delegation and EU Special Representative in BiH, Ambassador Johann Sattler, discussed the EU‘s support for energy efficiency and what Bosnia and Herzegovina can do to improve its record in this area.

“Bosnia and Herzegovina is unfortunately one of the most energy inefficient countries in Europe. One study demonstrated that the amount of energy used to produce one euro of GDP – what we call ‘energy intensity’ – is about four times higher in BiH than the EU27 average. This is wasteful, and totally unnecessary. There are major gains to be made that would improve not only the environment, but also economic competitiveness. The EU’s Energy Support Package will help improve energy efficiency, but EU support alone will not resolve the challenge of energy inefficiency in BiH – there are important measures and reforms that this country needs to adopt,” said Ambassador Sattler.  

The event in Mostar was entitled “Measures, steps and support to improve energy efficiency in households and companies” and featured a panel debate with Jasmina Kafedžić, Head of the Energy Efficiency Department, Fund for Environment Protection of FBiH, Leonida Hadžimuratović, energy efficiency expert and project manager at REIC, Nenad Vukoje, director of company “Mljekara Pađeni”, which has received previous EU support for energy efficiency, and Tarik Hubana, Programme Manager for Energy, at the Delegation of the European Union to BiH. The discussion was moderated by Mladen Kostić, Chief Technology Officer at INTERA Technology Park Mostar.

„Two components from the Energy Support Package are available for energy efficiency, and two entity Funds will be implementing these grants through public calls. The call we will soon publish from the FBiH Fund for Protection of Environment will be open to applications for things like facades, windows or roofs, or heating systems. What will be required from the end users is to show how the investments contribute to energy efficiency. Criteria for grants will include that there is an offer for the measure the user wants to achieve and that he or she submits all the necessary documentation and the implementation of funds will be on the principle of first come first served,” said Jasmina Kafedžić and added that all the funds should be implemented by the end of this year.

Nenad Vukoje, director of „Mljekara Pađeni“, which received support for improvement of energy efficiency through project EU4Agri, shared his experiences and emphasised what kind of savings and other benefits were recorded after they installed the solar panels as a renewable source of energy. Meanwhile, Leonida Hadžimuratović, as an expert for energy efficiency spoke about the importance of such projects, noted that there is a high demand for investments and that the energy efficiency will be recognised in the future as a way to save energy and achieve better comfort for living and doing business.

The EU’s Energy Support Package for the Western Balkans was announced by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during her visit to the region in October 2022. Of the 70 million euros in immediate support for Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Package, 50 million has been allocated for vulnerable families to mitigate the impact high prices caused by Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine. 20 million euros has been allocated to support energy efficiency as an investment in BiH’s future. Of this, 10 million euro will be available as support for households to improve the energy efficiency and a further 10 million euro will go as support to micro, small and medium enterprises for improving energy efficiency. It is expected that the funds will be disbursed in the coming weeks.