“Energy health” boosted in Serbia
Communication campaign gains ground on sensitizing the public on the importance of saving energy and how to become more energy efficient.
Alone in the year 2011, Çaçanska Banka (now Halkbank), the first bank in Serbia to partner with the GGF, financed no fewer than 79 projects for reducing energy consumption in private households and implementing cleaner production processes in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Building on the bank’s existing product portfolio for private households and SMEs, Çaçanska Banka and the GGF have developed a range of credit products aimed specifically at encouraging investments in energy efficiency.
During 2011, Çaçanska Banka implemented a number of communications campaigns to promote energy efficiency to sensitize the public on the importance of saving energy. A student competition was held for the best energy efficiency project, the “Energy Doctor” program, which had EE experts diagnosing the “energy health” of homes and businesses, and regional conferences on promoting energy efficiency investments. These initiatives, actively supported by the Technical Assistance Facility, advanced the fund’s agenda in Serbia by supporting the greening process from the demand side – and establishing Çaçanska Banka as a champion of energy efficiency.
One of the beneficiaries of the “Energy Doctor” campaign was restaurateur, Cana Petrovic. As her restaurant catering business flourished, Petrovic knew she had to modernize her facilities, especially heating and cooling. Çaçanska Banka’s HIT Energy Loan enabled her to install a thermal pump and solar collectors well ahead of schedule. “Besides saving costs, it’s made our business a much better workplace, too”, she said. The insulation upgrade led to annual energy cost savings of around 40%.