On 13 February 2018, the LEDS-EEP organised the webinar “Learning from Eastern Europe: An energy efficiency model to reduce energy poverty in residential buildings,” presented by Besim Nebiu and Zita Kakalejcikova, from Habitat for Humanity International. This webinar introduces the viewer to the processes and outcomes of the Residential Energy Efficiency for Low-Income Households (REELIH) project, run by Habitat for Humanity International and supported by USAID.
Residential heating energy accounts for more than 30 percent of energy use in most countries of Europe and Central Asia, and for more than 40 percent in the Balkans. Construction and heating methods used between the 1950s and 1980s were not focused on energy savings and environmental concerns, and as a result, highly inefficient energy use today intensifies the impact of escalating energy prices on low-income households. There is thus an urgent need to retrofit most of this housing stock to bring down heating costs and reduce energy poverty.
One way to bring down heating costs is to invest in energy-smart building renovations. One significant obstacle in the way of such renovations is that building owners have difficulty in reaching investment decisions together—a problem often made more difficult by legal complexities.
Habitat for Humanity International, with support from USAID, has run demonstration projects in Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), and Macedonia to raise awareness among homeowners, improve legal environment, and introduce new market solutions.
Habitat for Humanity has also carried out comparative research on state programs in Central Europe that have been successful. Based on its research and project findings, Habitat for Humanity hosts a dedicated regional knowledge platform at getwarmhomes.org, as well as national knowledge platforms for BiH and Armenia.