European Development Days: The EE Fund presented the experience of modernization of the housing sector in Ukraine

This year the European Development Days took place on 15-16 June, and it was the first time for the representatives of the Energy Efficiency Fund and its partners/donors to participate at this event.

European Development Days (EDD) is the leading European Development Forum, held since 2006 by the European Commission. The forum brings the development community together each year to share ideas and experiences in ways that inspire new partnerships and innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

Since 2006, EDD has established itself as a key fixture in the world’s development calendar and is now widely considered as the ‘Davos of Development’.

The EDD community brings together a wide range of participants and stakeholders from around the world. This year, 174 organizations acted as partners of the event.

The 14th edition of the European Development Days focused on “The Green Deal for a Sustainable Future” and was fully digital.

The Energy Efficiency Fund, the only representative from Ukraine, demonstrated its virtual roll-up with information materials on the development strategy of the organization and the “Energodim” program.

During these two days of the event, the experts from the EEF answered the questions from the participants on the details of the Program and other aspects of the energy modernization of the residential buildings in Ukraine.

The participants of the sessions discussed the ways to achieve food security, education and schooling, exploring new business models for a green recovery, green finances, and ways to build new partnerships to globally support EU priorities on the circular economy.

Katarína Mathernová, Deputy Director General of the Directorate General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission, spoke during the session devoted to the energy efficiency in Ukraine.

She admitted that due to the partnership between Ukraine and international organizations, the Energy Efficiency Fund was set up in 2018, and a separate program to improve the energy efficiency of residential buildings in Ukraine – “Energodim” – was developed, where the main beneficiaries are HOAs.

This program incentivizes residents of the multifamily buildings to create HOAs, become more energy-conscious and implement energy efficiency measures in their homes, that in its turn should lead to lowering the utility bills,” – said Ms. Mathernová.

She also said that during the functioning of the EE Fund many coaching events were provided for the representatives of HOAs, based on the lessons of energy efficiency reforms that took place in the past decades across Europe, particularly in Poland, Croatia and Lithuania, where the reforms showed significant results.

It helps Ukraine to avoid many mistakes. The Fund is expected to operate in Ukraine for several years, but we hope that the Fund will be taken up by the Ukrainian budget and investors and will work for decades, because the needs for energy efficiency improvements in housing in Ukraine are massive”, added the Deputy Director General of the Directorate General for Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission.

The partners of the Energy Efficiency Fund also recorded a video address in frames of this event. In particular, Krzysztof Gerulski, the energy efficiency expert from the Ukraine Support Group, European Commission, noted that the residential buildings in the world consume around 40% of total energy consumption. At the same time, multi-storey building in Ukraine consume about three times more energy than in neighboring EU countries with similar climatic conditions.

Ukraine is wasting a lot of energy. Therefore, reducing the energy consumption can be beneficial not only in terms of the country’s energy security, but also can help Ukrainian citizens save money. If Ukraine achieves the energy efficiency level of neighboring EU countries, such as Poland or Slovakia, it may not have to import gas and it will have enough of its own production, “said Krzysztof Gerulski.

According to Olga Borodankova, Head of the Energy Efficiency Sector of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, energy efficiency reform is implemented at the different levels. It involves international financial organizations, the European Union, the German government, as well as public authorities in Ukraine, municipalities and society, that also plays an important role in this process.

Energy efficiency reform creates new markets or intensifies competition in existing markets. For example, in the construction market, the energy audit and design market, in the banking sector. New markets create new jobs, which is extremely important for Ukraine,” added Olga Borodankova, Head of the Energy Efficiency Sector of the EU Delegation.

At the same time, Laura Garbenciute-Bakiene, representative of donors, member of the Supervisory Board of the Energy Efficiency Fund, noted that Ukraine received better quality public services and more budget revenues due to better management practices of the Fund.

And I am sure that the Ukrainian side has benefited from this. First, it is about the active involvement of the Supervisory Board into management and governance, as well as monitoring to ensure that the strategy is consistent with all parties … We are committed to avoid conflicts of interest, reduce corruption risks and implement proper internal controls and procedures risk management,” admitted Laura Garbenchute-Bakine.

The donor spokeswoman also added that the Fund’s corporate governance provides an appropriate legal framework, internal policies and procedures, respect for the rights of all stakeholders, as well as transparency of processes and availability of data to all stakeholders.

According to Yulia Holovatiuk-Ungureanu, director of the Energy Efficiency Fund, the mission of the Fund is to bring Ukraine to the European level of energy efficiency, reduce energy consumption and emissions in the housing sector.

Our strategic goal by 2025 is to have about 500,000 families in 5,000 multifamily buildings, which consume at least 20% less energy after the renovation of their homes,” said the head of the Fund and expressed her gratitude to the partners for their support.

Mai Nguyen, Program Manager of Energy Efficiency for Ukraine, International Finance Corporation (IFC, World Bank Group) said that IFC has been working on energy efficiency in Ukraine for the last 11 years and, in particular, helped draft one of the most important laws On the Energy Efficiency Fund, together with the Swiss government and the European Union.

As this is a new project that was developed from scratch, our team continues to help the Fund, optimize activities according to the best practices of risk management and corporate governance. The project is expected to help attract more than € 150 million investments into energy efficiency measures over the next three years,” added Mai Nguyen.

In his turn, Mustafa Sait-Ametov, Head of the UNDP Regional Sustainable Development Program, said that UNDP is currently implementing a project with the EU “Association of Homeowners for the Implementation of Sustainable Energy Efficient Solutions” (HOUSES), which aims to support the creation and development of HOAs throughout Ukraine.

 “The idea is that we are actually helping to create future clients of the Energy Efficiency Fund. We are helping to increase energy efficiency by increasing the capacity of homeowners’ associations to implement their own energy efficiency micro-projects,” said Mustafa Sait-Ametov.

According to Eva-Maria Geiger, director of the project “Support to the National Energy Efficiency Fund and S2I Environmental Reform Program in Ukraine”, implemented by GIZ on behalf of the German government, GIZ conducts trainings for management and technical experts of the Fund, as well as trainings for energy auditors. More than 700 experts already participated at the training courses throughout Ukraine and now help HOAs implement energy efficiency projects for their homes. GIZ also plans to introduce trainings for construction experts who are directly involved in the implementation of ene