Change Project "With Capacity, Awareness and Knowledge towards Energy Efficiency - CAKEE"
Energy intensity in Serbia is very high, estimated to be about 1,61 toe/kUSD in 2009 (Source: IEA), with average corresponding EU values being more than 10 times lower. Energy production facilities are characterized by low efficiency, both in heat and electricity sub-sectors. The Strategy on Development of Energetics until 2015 puts energy efficiency (EE) within two of its key priorities. Continuing in the same vein, the draft Strategy until 2025 sees EE as an important development possibility and an activity to achieve sustainable development. The 2nd National Energy Efficiency Action Plan (NEEAP) for 2013-2015 sets out the goal to achieve 3,5% overall energy consumption saving compared to a 2008 level.
The Serbian Law on Efficient Use of Energy explicitly identifies the public sector, including local governments (LGs), as one of the key addressees of EE measures, prescribes the duty to aim for the largest energy savings in the shortest period possible and emphasizes the need of educating public officials on how to implement EE measures. Energy policy goals, geared towards EE, are of relevance for the LGs which are now faced with both the legal requirements of improving EE and an objective necessity in cutting wasteful energy use and lowering financial expenses on that account. However, the importance of LGs in the area of EE does not nearly correlate with the actual implementation of EE measures in them. According to the most recent survey in the field (Source: GIZ "Managing Energy Efficiency"), the level of implemented energy management solutions in Serbian LGs is remarkably low.
Another significant issue in the EE field, for whose existence there is a consensus between independent professionals and public officials, is a very low level of awareness among the general public. As stated in the Strategy until 2015, traditionally irrational attitude towards energy consumption and a number of wrong beliefs on its rational use dominate the public. Education system, being of core importance for developing the long-term, nation-wide awareness on the EE importance and related behavior contributed to the EE goal sporadically and non-systematically so far. Up to date, educational initiatives have been taken by the NGO sector in most cases, that being however insufficient. Both the Strategy and the EE Law envisage the need to intervene in improving education and in increasing public awareness as the path to achieve energy-environmental culture among public.
The role of the NGO sector in contributing to improvement of the two above mentioned issues is seen as and can be significant. Bearing in mind limited available public resources and the novelty of the subject matter, NGOs are in a critical position to bring fresh initiatives, insights and resources. However, this is predicated upon having the required capacities in the first place. NGOs are uniquely positioned to dedicate the necessary level of attention and pinpointed efforts to particular LGs and their administrations, something not commonly occuring with state-led, top-down interventions. Experience shows that focused and permanent cooperation in particular project implementation by NGOs and LGs goes far more in necessary awareness raising and sustainability than the mere legislative introduction of desired goals. Therefore, this Change Project "With Capacity, Awareness and Knowledge towards Energy Efficiency - CAKEE" aims to answer the above needs through strengthening capacities of OPTIMUS and other organizations wider as a solid basis for future activities targeted at supporting LGs and promoting the EE among the general public.
The Change Project is implemented by the OPTIMUS - Center for Good Governance. It is realized as part of the advanced International Training Programme "Efficient Energy Use and Planning", funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency - Sida and implemented by the LIFE Academy, in collaboration with the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and the Regional Energy Agency of Varmland.
Overall objective and expected results
The overall goal is to contribute to improving EE in Serbia through setting the ground for successful energy efficiency at the local level and improved behavour of the public.
Expected results of the Change Project are as follows:
- Result 1: Built capacities of 10 professionals in the energy efficiency field by April 2015;
- Result 2: Energy efficiency awareness rise among 60 school children and their teachers in 3 schools and among general public by June 2015;
- Result 3: Specific local EE needs identified and 1-2 project concept notes for applying energy efficiency measures at the local level created by August 2015.
- Building capacities of NGO professionals through trainings design and delivery and follow-up support;
- Increasing awareness of teachers and pupils on energy efficiency through workshops delivery and preparation of the short e-Guide for teachers as a support in introducing EE in educational activities;
- Preparing the ground for EE initiatives at the local level through identification of specific local needs in the area of energy efficiency and drafting of concept note/s for the potential EE project/s on the local level.