Energy savings programmes in Lithuanian cities will get a further boost from a EUR 40 million loan agreement between the European Investment Bank (EIB), as manager of the JESSICA holding fund in Lithuania, and Šiaulių bankas.
This is already the third EIB agreement with Šiaulių bankas, the aim of which is to increase energy efficiency in housing by improving funding conditions. Multi-apartment building administrators and owners can apply for 20-year loans with low and fixed interest rates which must be used for energy efficiency investments. These investments allow for a significant reduction in energy consumption and thus enable considerable savings on energy bills. Energy efficiency increasing measures include, for instance, reconstruction of the heating, hot and cold water systems, the replacement of windows and entrance doors, insulation of roofs, façade walls and cellar ceilings and the installation of alternative energy source (sun, wind, etc.) systems.
“The EIB strongly promotes urban development and projects improving energy efficiency. We therefore particularly welcome this agreement with Šiaulių bankas, which will contribute not only to Lithuania’s carbon reduction targets but will also have a number of social benefits, such as improved quality of life and local job creation, notably in the construction sector”, said EIB President Werner Hoyer at the signing ceremony.
Lithuania’s Environment Minister Valentinas Mazuronis added: “I am pleased with this fruitful cooperation with the EIB and I am also delighted with the approvals for residents to modernise multi-apartment buildings that are signed almost every day. This indicates their confidence in the programme and eagerness to live a more sparing and joyful life. It is essential to ensure safe sources of renovation funding to fulfil their aims. Today’s signature between the EIB and Šiaulių bankas represents a timely step towards safety”.
“We feel an active interest of the residents to renovate multi-apartment houses, we are aware of their needs and there is no doubt that the economic return from such refurbishment will be enormous in the long run. Today the renovation programme is important for Lithuania in economic, social and environmental aspects. Therefore, in close cooperation with the EIB, the Environment Ministry, municipalities and other institutions working hand in hand, we are actively striving to achieve the sustainable development of the country. We care about the future of Lithuania, we feel huge responsibility and believe in the benefits generated by the renovation programme and in its success”, remarked Algirdas Butkus, Chairman of the Board of Šiaulių bankas.
The EIB is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.
JESSICA − Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas − is an initiative of the European Commission developed in cooperation with the European Investment Bank and the Council of Europe Development Bank. It supports sustainable urban development and regeneration through financial engineering mechanisms. The Government of Lithuania implements JESSICA initiatives through the EIB as the manager of the JESSICA holding fund.
Šiaulių bankas has been participating in the renovation programmes carried out by the Lithuanian Government since 2002. Over the last three years Šiaulių bankas has provided funding to 70 projects under the JESSICA programme, whose total value reaches EUR 9.6 million. This year the Environment Ministry and municipalities have begun to implement the new approach of renovating multi-apartment houses in Lithuania and Šiaulių bankas has already approved the provision of funding to 111 such projects, amounting to EUR 20.2 million.