Energy-Saving Program for Public
Buildings in the
Lithuania has a lot of inefficient buildings left over from
the communist period. This kind of building was built at a time when nobody
was concerned about energy consumption, because the Soviet Union (Russia)
handled the energy supply and the prices were low - subsidised by the
government. Since, the situation of the energy sector has changed
dramatically. The energy supply is now a national matter and the energy prices
are equal to world prices. This has created a change in the common attitude
towards energy efficiency.
Politically, Lithuania is obliged to decrease its CO2
emissions, as the national government has signed the Framework Convention
on Climate Change of the Kyoto Conference. A Lithuanian NGO, Lithuanian
Green Movement, is taking the lead in solving this problem.
According to independent studies that were done by Lithuanian
Energy Institute, Lithuania lacks especially good preconditions for exploring
renewable-energy resources. According to these studies, it is only possible to
replace 5-6% of the overall national energy consumption with renewable energy.
Most publicly owned buildings are very inefficient in their
energy consumption, there is therefore a large potential in Lithuania for
saving energy. But it is not possible to finance energy-efficiency
materials and their installation by means of the national budget. So, there is
a lot of space for NGO's and the public to make houses more energy efficient.
The initiative to form a programme for improving efficiency in energy
consumption in publicly owned houses was taken by NGO's with assistance of the
During the project, problems arose when municipal authorities
tried to get loans in commercial banks to install energy-efficiency equipment
in the municipalities' own buildings. But, after several municipalities had
taken loans and found that the money was recovered in energy savings in just a
year and a half, it became clear that energy-efficiency installations could be
regarded a safe investment. The benefits of the programme take effect quickly.
After installing the most necessary energy-efficiency equipment, energy
consumption decreases by half and some cases by more than that.
Because publicly owned houses are important to local people,
the latter have supported this project. The Lithuanian Green Movement
receives very good feedback on it.To establish good conditions for further
expansion of this project, it is important to make public authorities realise
that energy consumption in publicly owned houses falls within their areas of
Lithuanian Green Movement leads the project. Financial
support comes from the US Baltic Foundation, which was set up by the US