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Residential heating energy accounts for more than 30 percent of energy use in most countries of Europe and Central Asia, and even more than 40 percent in the Balkans. Previous construction and heating methods did not focus on saving energy and the environment. As a result, a highly inefficient energy use intensifies the impact of escalating energy prices on low-income households.

Especially in urban areas, the pre-fabricated multi-story apartment buildings are generally poorly insulated and maintained, providing a low level of energy efficiency and living comfort. Current construction standards and practices for these residential buildings lag behind international standards and are not effectively applied in building and in the refurbishment of old buildings.

It is important to address this problem in order to help countries of Central and Eastern Europe move forward on the road to energy reforms and limit energy waste and air pollution.

Habitat for Humanity and USAID Residential Energy Efficiency for Low Income Households (REELIH) project aims to improve living standards in multi-unit apartment buildings in Eurasia. It focuses on developing a regional effort, resources and networks to address the impact of rising energy prices on collective housing.

The REELIH project includes the involvement of all stakeholders who promote, create, finance and directly implement energy efficiency projects.

The main objectives of the REELIH project are:

  • To motivate all stakeholders to contribute to the improvement of living conditions of families with low income
  • To develop sustainable model of implementation of EE in residential buildings
  • To save on energy costs
  • To reduce air pollution and climate change effects

REELIH project with the financial help of USAID seeks to demonstrate that integrated efforts in this sector, at the regional as well as the national level, addressing market, capacity and knowledge gaps, will bring significant improvements to the living conditions of low-income families in the Eurasian region, reduce energy costs, reduce carbon emissions, and thus overall, contribute with tangible changes to the ongoing dialogue and reform process.

Habitat for Humanity and USAID established the Residential energy efficiency for low income households (REELIH) project in 2012 and implement it in Armenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

  • Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) is a nonprofit organization that seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world and make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action worldwide. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built or renovated more than 800,000 homes around the world, providing more than 4 million people with safe, decent, affordable shelter. Habitat for Humanity works in 80 countries worldwide in Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, Asia and Latin America.

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  • USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential. USAID extends help from the American people to achieve results for the poorest and most vulnerable around the world.
    USAID’s mission statement highlights two complementary and intrinsically linked goals: ending extreme poverty and promoting the development of resilient, democratic societies that are able to realize their potential.

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Contact Habitat for Humanity EMEA

Zochova 6-8, 811 03, Bratislava, Slovakia

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