Riding the renovation wave in the Western Balkans

Energy efficiency
25 February 2021

In 2020, the European Commission adopted “An Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans”, earmarking an overall budget of EUR 9 billion for its implementation during 2021-2027. A fair share is expected to finance buildings renovation and decarbonisation of heating and cooling sectors. The Secretariat’s Discussion Paper, published today, presents its views on how to make the renovation wave in the Western Balkans a success and issues recommendations for its design and implementation. The Paper focuses on the renovation of multi-apartment buildings, which have the biggest potential for energy savings in the Western Balkans.

In the Discussion Paper, the Secretariat underlines that only a coordinated intervention on multiple levels, including intensive work on housing policies and an accompanying regulatory framework, dedicated financial products and extensive capacity building at central and municipal level will make the renovation wave successful in the Western Balkans. What is more, all relevant stakeholders must be involved, including the construction industry, project developers, energy auditors and monitoring and verification experts and homeowners associations.

The Energy Community Secretariat’s support in implementing the renovation wave is envisaged under the Plan. In this respect, its role may be manifold. Given the barriers to the roll-out of the renovation wave as outlined in the Discussion Paper, the Secretariat offers its assistance to the Western Balkan Contracting Parties in improving the legal framework and removing regulatory barriers in the building sector; facilitating information sharing and exchange of best practice; and serving as a bridge between the providers of technical and financial assistance and beneficiaries.

The Secretariat would like to thank USAID for conducting a very thorough Gap Analysis of the Housing Sector in the Western Balkans, which served as a source of information for the Discussion Policy Paper, as well as EBRD and the World Bank for their comments and suggestions.