- When started: Partnership with a local organization launched in 2010
- Highlights: The first housing loan through the partnership issued in November 2010
- Families served: More than 50
- Housing solutions: Small loans for home improvement and energy efficiency upgrades
Residential energy efficiency for low-income households in Bosnia-Herzegovina
Residential heating accounts for more than 40 percent of energy use in most Balkan countries because previous construction and heating methods did not focus on energy efficiency. As a result, highly inefficient energy use exacerbates the negative effect of escalating energy prices on low-income households. The majority of housing stock in Bosnia-Herzegovina, especially in urban areas, consists of pre-fabricated multi-story apartment buildings that are generally of low quality, poorly insulated, and poorly maintained. Therefore current construction standards and practices for residential buildings lag behind European and international standards and are not effectively applied in building and in the refurbishment of old buildings.
In the first phase, Residential Energy Efficiency for Low Income Households (REELIH) project of USAID and Habitat for Humanity seeks solutions for financing, through a combination of subsidies and commercial loans. The project targets at least one demonstration building in each partner municipality in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The buildings are selected based on clear selection criteria that are developed jointly by local financial partners, local governments, and Habitat for Humanity International.
Work with homeowners:
Most importantly, homeowners within selected buildings must reach a consensus not only on the energy efficiency renovations that they would like to implement in their individual apartments and common spaces, but also on their readiness to co-finance these renovations, if necessary by taking an individual or a collective loan. The REELIH program facilitates this process by providing all necessary information and a tailor-made training program on residential energy efficiency to homeowner associations and apartment owners. The program also assists homeowners associations as they select the construction companies they want to work with, independent works supervisors, and energy audit companies.
Through the REELIH project Habitat for Humanity wants to demonstrate a market solution for bringing residential energy efficiency to low-income households in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Therefore, the project seeks to demonstrate that integrated efforts in this sector - both at the regional and national levels - addressing market, capacity and knowledge gaps will bring significant improvements to the living conditions of low-income families in the region, reduce energy costs, reduce carbon emissions, and overall, contribute with tangible experiences in the ongoing dialogue and reform processes.
The Residential Energy Efficiency for Low-Income Households (REELIH) project was established by Habitat for Humanity with the financial participation of USAID.