The EBRD-managed programme supporting energy efficiency in Ukrainian homes has reached a milestone of investing over UAH 1 billion (equivalent of over EUR 30 million). More than 30,000 Ukrainian households took out loans from local commercial banks which participate in the programme to invest in green technologies for their homes; of those, over 20,000 projects have already been verified as eligible for investment grants.
The loans have been made as part of Ukraine Residential Energy Efficiency Financing Facility (UREEFF), otherwise known as IQ energy, designed to promote energy efficiency investments. The facility is run by the EBRD and supported by EUR 15 million in grant funding from the Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership, to which the European Union is the largest contributor, and where Ukraine is also one of the donors. Additional technical assistance funding is provided by Sweden, the EBRD said.
UREEFF targets Ukraine's residential sector, which is responsible for over a third of the country's energy consumption. With over 10 million buildings, many of which were built in the Soviet era with poor energy performance, there is enormous potential to not only cut energy bills but make Ukrainian homes more comfortable at the same time.
The programme operates in several stages. First, the programme's partner banks, Credit Agricole Bank, Raiffeisen Bank Aval, OTP Bank and UkrSibbank, provide loans to Ukrainian residents specifically for green technology solutions for their homes such as new double-glazed windows, high-efficiency boilers, heat meters or solar collectors. Following that, borrowers' investments are verified by IQ Energy's experts, and they receive an investment grant of up to 35 per cent of the cost of improvements. To help select eligible technologies, the EBRD operates an online shopping-style Technology Catalogue where homeowners can choose from over 7,000 items and over 1,000 suppliers. Over 70 per cent of completed and verified home improvement projects have used products made in Ukraine, such as double-glazed windows or boilers.
IQ energy follows the model of the EBRD's Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF) that operates through a network of more than 130 local financial institutions across 24 countries supported by almost EUR 4 billion of EBRD finance for 120,000 clients. These projects have led to annual CO2 emission reductions of over almost 7 million tonnes.
The EBRD is the largest international financial investor in Ukraine. To date, the Bank has made a cumulative commitment of almost EUR 12.1 billion across some 400 projects since the start of its operations in the country in 1993.