Regional Development Ministry to launch Energy Efficiency Fund by January 2017
The Energy Efficiency Fund aimed to reduce natural gas consumption and lower households spending on housing and utilities will start work in Ukraine in January 2017, Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Utilities Hennadiy Zubko has said.
"The launch of the Fund is a national strategy to protect, support our citizens as part of energy efficiency policy, [it's] a step towards the country's energy independence. Our plans are to launch the Fund as early as in January 2017. These are ambitious plans, as legislation should be taken by that time with subsequent budget allocations. A government resolution on the creation of the Fund, a draft law on the Energy Efficiency Fund, and other legal acts are expected to be adopted," he said at a National Reforms meeting in Kyiv on Tuesday.
The launch of the Fund requires that the draft law on the Energy Efficiency Fund should be drawn up and sent to the Verkhovna Rada by the end of this summer. Lawmakers are expected to vote on the bill by the end of October, and in the coming month an international agreement is due to be signed.
What is more, parliament is expected to pass a bill on housing and utilities services by the end of August, and bills on energy efficient buildings and on commercial accounting should be passed by the end of October.
By the end of the summer, the Cabinet should elaborate procedures to fully or partly monetize housing and utilities services.
Zubko says that the recent meeting of the National Reforms Council considered a model of the future Fund, which is being created on the basis of partnership of the state, international financial organizations and donors. "We've developed an efficient model of the Fund jointly with partners from the European Union and the German government. Its innovation has been proven in neighboring countries – Poland, Lithuania, and the Czech Republic," he said.
He said he was sure that the Fund would be efficient, transparent and free from corruption.
"Its mission is to safeguard citizens, improve their housing conditions, reduce gas consumption and reduce households' utilities bills, make a step towards Ukraine's energy efficiency. The Fund will draw investment in financing energy efficient projects. These will be low-priced long-term loans, donor and state financing, citizens' savings on housing subsidies. What is more, the Fund will propose available standard energy efficiency projects for multi-storey residential buildings, recommendations for individual houses," he said.
An ad hoc group, which has analyzed the Fund's possible activity, concluded that by 2021, its activity will bring UAH 10 billion in tax revenue to the budget, will annually save about UAH 5 billion in budget funds spent on subsidies, UAH 1.5 billion (about $30 million) on the purchase of import gas.