Serbia’s Mining and Energy Minister Dubravka Đedović Handanović attended the opening of the first “Energy Information Centre” on Monday (16 October) in the western town of Kula.
The new centre, co-funded by USAID in Serbia, provides residents with information on energy efficiency, lowering energy consumption and government subsidies for increasing efficiency in residential builds.
“Investing in energy efficiency is profitable both economically and ecologically, and I am glad that more and more citizens and local governments recognise this. The cheapest energy is the one that is not consumed, and that is why with energy efficiency we not only better manage our household budgets, but also save our resources, protect the environment and progress towards greater energy independence, which is the strategic goal of the Republic of Serbia,” said Minister Đedović Handanović.
The municipality of Kula can serve as an example for other local self-governments regarding investments in energy efficiency in public facilities and support for citizens, the minister added. The Mining and Energy Ministry’s total investments in Kula in the last three years amounted to 27.6 million dinars (235.5 million euros) – including energy renovation of public buildings.
“Thanks to our joint efforts, the citizens of Kula will be the first in Serbia to be able to get answers to all their energy questions in one place.” We hope that these USAID-supported Energy Info Centers will expand and open throughout Serbia. I would encourage other local governments to come to Kula together with their representatives and find out how the Municipality of Kula helps its citizens to make the right energy choices,” said USAID Mission Director in Serbia Brooke Ayšam.
Minister Đedović Handanović noted that the Serbian government aims to help residents reduce their consumption through education and various support measures without reducing the comfort they currently have.
On Monday, Minister for Energy Efficiency and Climate Change Maja Vukadinović said in a guest appearance on state-owned TV broadcaster RTS that Serbia consumes four times more energy than the European average to produce the same unit of GDP, and twice as much thermal energy.
The government’s priority is to promote and encourage the implementation of energy efficiency measures in households and public buildings, said Minister Vukadinović.