Energy efficiency in green recovery – Best practices and opportunities for Ukraine

Ukraine's plans for a sustainable and green recovery need to include energy efficiency standards. The DiXi Group together with BPIE, have brought together their EU expertise and best practices on energy efficiency in buildings, to develop an approach for Ukraine's reconstruction and recovery.

The issue of increasing energy efficiency in Ukraine is not new, as it has long been among countries with the highest energy intensity per GDP unit (e.g. twice as high as in Poland). In 2011, Ukraine joined the Energy Community to form a pan-European energy market with binding rules and principles, and in 2014 signed the Association Agreement with the European Union, committing to implement a number of acquis, in particular Directive 2012/27/EU Оn energy efficiency and Directive 2010/31/EU Оn the energy performance of buildings. In addition, in 2021, the country set a goal to halve energy consumption by 2030.

Ukraine has made significant progress in the fulfilment of obligations under the Association Agreement with the EU regarding the implementation of European legislation on energy efficiency. In recent years, a legislative framework aimed at reforming and supporting energy efficiency has been developed and adopted. (…)

In 2022, the issue of energy efficiency gained new value and strategic importance not only for low-carbon development and reliable energy supply, but also directly for the sovereignty and independence of the state. Due to Russia’s terrorist acts against energy facilities and blackmailing the civilised world with energy resources used as a weapon, the issue of reducing dependence on the imports of fossil fuels has become urgent, and energy efficiency has become a true integral component of energy security.

Moreover, for Ukraine, the issue of energy efficiency is cross-cutting in the reconstruction to ensure that this process is sustainable. In the first months of the full-scale invasion, the civil society in Ukraine developed the principles of green recovery, one of which is the development of a low-carbon, energy-efficient economy.

Ukraine is already adopting the European practice of buildings that consume a minimum of energy. Thus, the Concept and National Plan for the gradual increase in the number of nearly zero-energy buildings (NZEB) were adopted. According to the Plan, in the next five years, the creation of a regulatory and legal framework is expected, and after 2025 – the transition to new requirements for construction and commissioning of facilities. In addition, in 2022, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine adopted the Law to create conditions for complex thermal modernization of buildings, and in 2023, the Decarbonization and Energy Efficient Transformation Fund was created to finance energy efficiency programs and projects starting in 2024.

Combined with the need to rebuild the country after the Russian full-scale war, the necessity to secure the thermal modernization of buildings to address the climate crisis, and the future of Ukrainian accession to the EU, a lot of work shall be done in the Ukrainian buildings sector in the coming months and years.

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