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Energy Efficiency



Energy-Saving Program for Public
Buildings in the Lithuanian Republic

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 local authorities.

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 responsibility.

Lithuanian Green Movement leads the project. Financial support comes from the US Baltic Foundation, which was set up by the US Government.

Name and type of project 
 Promotion of Energy-Saving Initiatives in Schools 
Starting year  1997
Overall cost of the project  17,000 USD
Energy amount saved  50-60% of former consumption
Number of similar projects  Around 10 local projects
Contact person  Kestutis Navickas
Community Atgaja - Lithuanian Green Movement
P.O. Box 156, Kaunas 3000, Lithuania.
Ph: +3707 20 7250 fax: +3707 20 9274