WASHINGTON, March 13, 2014 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a credit in the amount of US$32 million for the Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH) Energy Efficiency Project. The project aims to demonstrate the benefits of energy efficiency improvements in public buildings throughout the country and support the development of scalable energy efficiency financing models.
BH has recognized the importance of energy efficiency in supporting sustainable economic growth and moving towards EU accession. As a member of the Energy Community Treaty, BH has developed a draft National Energy Efficiency Action Plan that includes an indicative energy savings target of nine percent by 2018. Efficiency improvements in buildings are expected to make a significant contribution to achieving this target.
It is expected that a total of approximately 85 public buildings – mainly schools and hospitals – will be retrofitted under the project, making them more energy efficient. Due to its focus on public education and healthcare facilities, the project will directly benefit some of the often most vulnerable sections of society, particularly, children and hospital patients.
“This project will support the country’s national development strategy by promoting economic growth, development, and employment in the construction sector,” said Anabela Abreu, World Bank Country Manager for Bosnia and Herzegovina. “In addition, improved energy efficiency will lead to a decrease in fuel consumption for heating as well as reduced carbon emissions into the air, which will have a particularly positive impact in larger urban areas during winter periods.”
Overall, energy efficiency improvements in the public sector reduce energy expenditures and can create fiscal space for other development priorities. In BH, implementation of cost-effective energy efficiency measures in healthcare and educational facilities throughout the country could reduce public expenditures by about US$25 million per year.
The World Bank portfolio of active projects in BH now includes 12 operations totaling approximately US$454.6 million. Areas of support include agriculture, environment, forestry, health, social safety and employment, local infrastructure, and private sector development.