REELIH Regional Conference II: Recordings

REELIH Regional Conference II:
Scaling up energy efficiency renovations of multi-apartment buildings to alleviate energy poverty in Eastern Europe through knowledge transfer between EU member states and countries in the Eastern Neighborhood and Western Balkans


A conference organized by Habitat for Humanity International and United States Agency for International Development as part of Europe Housing Forum by Habitat for Humanity International and held in the framework of the UNECE Eleventh International Forum on Energy for Sustainable Development.


Session 1: Presenting HFHI research and recommendations and response by EU policy makers

HFHI and USAID have been implementing the REELIH project in several countries to address energy poverty by developing models to scale up energy efficiency renovations of multi-apartment buildings. They use these projects and commission research to better understand the connection between residential energy efficiency and energy poverty. The most recent research initiative is presented by research partners MRI and BPIE with a focus on developing a practical definition of energy poverty and recommendations for policy makers. EU policy makers from the European Parliament, the European Commission and from the Member States are asked to respond to the recommendations.

Stefan BOUZAROVSKI, Chair of the ENGAGER Cost Action

Eva GEROHAZI, Researcher, Metropolitan Research Institute (MRI), Budapest
Senta SCHMATZBERGER, Project Manager, Building Performance Institute Europe (BPIE)
Gyorgy SUMEGHY, Associate Director, Policy and Advocacy at Habitat for Humanity International – Europe, Middle East and Africa (HFHI EMEA)
Iskra MIHAYLOVA, Member of the ITRE Committee, European Parliament
Gaspard DEMUR, European Commission, Directorate General for Energy (DG ENER)
Krzysztof GIERULSKI, Policy Officer, Support Group for Ukraine (SGUA), European Commission, Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)
Lauri SUU, Head of Housing Policy at Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Estonia


Session 2: Financing residential energy efficiency

Energy poverty alleviation of vulnerable consumers living in multi-apartment buildings requires scaling up of investment into a deep renovation of these buildings. A mixed financing model seems feasible and sustainable where a good combination of community savings, subsidies and bank loans can provide the necessary investment. There are well-developed schemes in Central Europe and good schemes for single houses in many countries of the Energy Community, but the community lending needed for the financing of the energy efficiency renovations of multi-apartment buildings is missing. In this session, first we are having an introduction about the bottlenecks of energy efficiency investment into residential energy efficiency and then we are asking the response from key international financing institutions and other presenting some best practices by other organizations.

Oleg DZIOUBINSKI, Regional Adviser at Sustainable Energy Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

Violeta KOGALNICEANU, Head of Infrastructure and Energy Efficiency Unit, Energy Community
Grzegorz GAJDA, Senior Urban Sector Specialist at European Investment Bank (EIB)
Andrew POPELKA, Senior Energy Advisor, Energy and Infrastructure Division Bureau for Europe and Eurasia, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Meran LUKIC, Principal Banker, Infrastructure Europe at European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
Edo OMIC, Economist at Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB)


Session 3: Community mobilization: REELIH and other best practices

Scaling up energy poverty alleviation in multi-apartment buildings requires massive investment in energy efficiency renovations of these buildings. Awareness raising about the benefits of energy efficiency and reaching community decision about investment in multi-apartment building requires a lot of community facilitation and education. We are presenting best practices about supporting Homeowner Associations (HOA) and other community structures on how to mobilize the community members to scale up energy efficiency renovations for energy poverty alleviation.

Knut HOELLER, Executive Member of the Board at IWO – Housing Initiative for Eastern Europe

Petar TASIC, Consultant in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Sources, ENOVA
Liljana ALCEVA, Deputy Director - Program at Habitat for Humanity Macedonia (HFHM)
Svitlana SLESARENOK, Odessa Housing Union Association
Julien DIJOL, Policy Director of Housing Europe
Gergely SCHUM, Project Manager at Energiaklub


Session 4: EU policies and implementation at national level

Recently introduced Renovation Wave Strategy package gives a unique opportunity for EU Member States and accession countries to boost the renovation of their building stock. This year, the European Commission’s leading initiatives under Renovation Wave Strategy, such as Affordable Housing Initiative or New European Bauhaus, are being shaped to best reflect the needs identified by different stakeholders representing the EU countries. Likewise, Recommendations on Energy Poverty address the issue, however, it is still important to recognize the different regional contexts of the problem. In this session, first we are having a summary presentation about the new EU policies and then we are asking representatives of national and local government to show how these EU policies are/can be implemented at their level.

Zita KAKALEJCIKOVA, Manager, Residential Energy Programs at Habitat for Humanity International – Europe, Middle East and Africa (HFHI EMEA)

Helene SIBILEAU, Senior Policy Advisor at Buildings Performance Institute Europe (BPIE)
Valentina STARDELOVA, North Macedonian government representative
Arsen KARAPETYAN, National Expert on Housing Policy and Multi-Apartment Building Management, UNDP
Esad SMAJLOVIC, Energy Efficiency Senior Advisor, GIZ
Elena SZOLGAYOVA, Co-chair of #Housing2030 initiative


Session 5: Improving homeowner associations’ legislation

National governments have a crucial role to play in the creation of an enabling environment for HOAs to become responsible and reliable entities in the marketplace. Without proper legislation about the management of HOAs, the HOAs can only hardly be restructured in a way to ensure they collect and build their own resources for maintenance of the co-owned spaces. In the CEE/CIS region, legislation about management of the HOAs is not transparent and banks do not trust HOAs as reliable entities to lend the money to. This is one of the main bottlenecks in the process of renovating residential building stock. The session will introduce the GAP analysis which showcases Slovakia as a leading example of how to empower the HOAs through establishing proper legislative background for these entities and for the investment in residential sector. HFH Armenia has been long working on the legislation changes in their national law and their work bring the first successes. Their experience in influencing the legislation changes and working with national government together with identification of following challenges to be tackled after the legislation is set, will be discussed during this session.

Elena MILANOVSKA, Associate Director, Capital Markets & Financial Inclusion Europe, Middle East, and Africa Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter, Habitat for Humanity International (TCIS HFHI)

Elena SZOLGAYOVA, Co-chair of #Housing2030 initiative
Andrew POPELKA, Senior Energy Advisor, Energy and Infrastructure Division Bureau for Europe and Eurasia, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Besim NEBIU, Director, Central and Eastern Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States (CEE/CIS) at Habitat for Humanity International – Europe, Middle East, and Africa (HFHI EMEA)
Nadejda KHAMRAKULOVA, Project Officer at the Sustainable Energy Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
Varsenik KHLOYAN, Project Manager, Residential Buildings at Habitat for Humanity Armenia (HFHA)


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