In early May, representatives of the Zhytomyr Oblast hromadas visited Slovenia as part of an international study visit organised by the Energy Efficiency in Communities II Project implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the U-LEAD with Europe Programme.
Together with Oleksandr Krukivskyi, legal adviser of the Zhytomyr Local Government Development Centre established by the U-LEAD with Europe Programme, representatives of the Korostyshivska and Radomyshlska hromadas studied the experience of implementing the energy efficiency system.
Within the framework of the visit, the team visited six municipalities and talked with experts from communities and companies that implement energy efficient technologies.
Oleksandr Krukivskyi shares his impressions of the study trip in the interview below.
Energy management is a way of life for Slovenians
What are your impressions of the trip to Slovenia and, in particular, their approach to energy management?
Energy management is their lifestyle, since the Slovenians not only heat the buildings and modernise boiler houses. The system of energy management covers all spheres of life, and communities have so much profoundly and deeply implemented the rules of saving, thought-out and far-sighted use of resources that have been able to achieve a multiplying effect in society. That is, if a rule to switch off technical equipment after leaving the office were introduced within an enterprise, then people continue following this rule at home as well.
How is the energy management system organised in Slovenia?
To understand the scale of this system, one needs to understand the scale of the country itself. Slovenia is less than the Zhytomyr Oblast, we have almost 30 thousand square km, and they have 20 thousand square km. The population is almost 2 million people, and there is only one city with a population of more than 100 thousand – the capital of Ljubljana.
The Slovenians annually pay 1.5% of their GDP for energy resources, it is more than UAH 4.5 billion. This indicator was much higher before the introduction of energy management.
The Slovenians started with a housing stock. They began to conduct energy audits, and the Government developed a website that covers obligatory indicators for all buildings. Then they undertook legal regulation, adopted a number of necessary amendments and new laws.
In addition, the Slovenians started to study their energy costs.
And did they implement all these measures at their own expense?
Definitely not, since Slovenians did not have funds for such large-scale projects at the level of the whole country. The European Union provided its assistance, as the country was gradually taking over European values and approaches, in particular to the use of resources. And, of course, after the country's announcement of the European integration course, a huge resource of European aid was opened to it.
The Slovenians also lack money. But they do not perceive this as tragedy. They are searching for the funds and struggling for them.
How is the project selection process organised and who implements it?
Over the time of energy management system formation, the municipalities formed their own infrastructure, separate institutions, entitled to select projects, search for funds and implement them.
The agency is preparing a project and is looking for means for its realisation. Thus, the municipality solves its problem, and the agency receives funds for its development.
Without Europe’s support, the Slovenians implemented measures that required the least funding, but give the best result, and then moved to more expensive ones.
How has this approach influenced the cost of resources for the country and what are the results of the energy management programme implementation?
The main result is cost savings and 45% of renewable energy generation. This is the opinion of the specialists with whom we communicated. But I believe that the key achievement of implementing energy management is the change in the consciousness of citizens.
In addition, the entire state structure approaches the formation and development of infrastructure in a comprehensive manner.
What conclusions can be made for Ukrainian hromadas as a results of the trip?
We were able to get acquainted with the energy management system in Slovenia and understand why it should be implemented. Figures voiced by the Slovenians have a relative significance. The main thing is that we have seen how specific projects are being implemented and what results they brings to municipalities.
In addition, we learnt a basic circle-wise principle of energy management: plan-do-check-act. We should not stop.
We would like to recall that during a trip to Velenje municipality, Radomyshl mayor Volodymyr Teterskyi signed a Letter of Intent for Cooperation. The two communities agreed to start cooperation in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy development and other areas of local development that are of mutual interest.
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