German-Ukrainian cooperation:complex energy saving rehabilitation of multi-apartment buildings

Written by Larissa Schreckenbach, IWO

The housing stock of Ukraine consists of 240.000 apartment buildings, numbering almost 13 million apartments.

Every second Ukrainian lives in a typical industrial building of the Soviet period. Eighty per cent of these buildings need urgent modernization.

The efficiency of energy consumption in residential buildings is two to three times lower than in Western Europe. In the recent past, the state covered up to 80% of the gas costs, paying the difference between the gas market price and the tariff for the population. In the last two years, the prices for heat and hot water have been constantly rising. A large-scale subsidy program, which was introduced in 2015 in parallel with the growth of heat energy prices for the population, was designed to mitigate the effects of this increase. In 2016, the total amount of subsidies intended to compensate the costs of families for payment of public utilities in Ukraine amounted to about 5 billion hryvnias (UAH).

To reduce these costs, it is necessary to modernize the housing stock. The latest legislative changes in Ukraine and the introduction of the first financial mechanisms to implement certain energy-efficient measures confirm the correct direction of the reforms.

But only a complex energy-saving reorganization of the housing stock will significantly improve the efficiency of the reforms initiated.

Thus, it is important: to consider needs and financial possibilities of homeowners; to monitor the increase in energy efficiency; to raise the level of information in the population, as well as to improve the qualification of designers and builders. In Germany, there is a large experience in this field. In Ukraine, there are very few successful projects for the comprehensive rehabilitation of apartment buildings. In order to find solutions for the implementation of complex sanitation (Table 1), during the competition organized within the framework of the project “German-Ukrainian Energy Efficient Homes”, 20 residential houses were selected. German experts will accompany the energy sanitation of these buildings. The project, which started in October 2015, is being carried out with the assistance of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (German: Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie, BMWi).

Complex energy-saving sanitation (Table 1) leads to ensuring the safety of buildings, increasing the market value of housing, comfort and security of residence, as well as to a significant reduction in energy consumption (50% to 60%) and, accordingly, to a reduction in energy costs.

Energy saving measures Other complex sanitation measures
Building shell

• Replacement of windows

• Thermal insulation of the roof or

ceilings of the upper floor

• Thermal insulation of the facade

• Thermal insulation of the basement ceiling

• Sealing of doors of entrances

Technical equipment

• Updating the heating system equipment, for example, individual heat point (ITP), pipelines, hot water supply system, accounting and regulation of heat consumption

• Introduction of renewable energy

• Renovation of ventilation

• Waterproofing of roofing and ensuring its airtightness

• Measures to ensure constructive reliability of the building or its elements

• The exterior of balconies

• Repair of porches

• Replacement of sanitary equipment

• Replacement of tiles in bathroom and kitchen

• Replacement of doors to apartments

• Replacement of electrotechnics


Tab. 1: Activities related to integrated energy-saving sanitation

On the basis of model projects, reliable data will be obtained. These data will give information about the extent, to which typical residential buildings need rehabilitation, the costs of implementing an integrated energy-saving rehabilitation, and the amount of energy that can be saved because of the implementation of different measures. The data will also help to identify the specific obstacles and technical, organizational, financial and social complexities on the way to the successful implementation of an integrated sanitation.

Carrying out the model projects will allow launching the development of a target program on complex energy-saving refurbishment of buildings, relying on practical experience. The experience in drawing up an optimal financing scheme and answering questions is very important, for example,

– To which extent should the state support energy saving sanitation?

– What monthly financial loan burden for the Ukrainian apartment owner could be considered as acceptable?

The project does not provide investment money for design and construction works. The proprietors of the apartments in 20 model houses, who decided to carry out an integrated sanitation, will use the financial capacities of the Energy Efficiency Fund. The Fund was developed in Ukraine during the last two years by the Ministry of Regional Development, Construction and Housing and Communal Services with the support of the Federal Government of Germany. On 08.06.2017, the Law on the Energy Efficiency Fund was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada in the second reading by a majority vote.

20 model objects will be among the first clients of the Fund. It will be possible to demonstrate in practice the advantages of a new financial instrument in comparison with the previous ones.

Larissa Schreckenbach – Project manager, Housing Initiative for Eastern Europe (IWO)- a European Competence Network. Field of activity are competent consulting, special training, creation of interdisciplinary networks, organization of work with associations and hands-on refurbishment. She has experience working in energy saving projects in residential homes in Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan and other post-Soviet countries.