CHEE – Cross-border Energy efficiency capacity building

A Croatian-Hungarian cross-border project aims at making publicly owned buildings more energy-efficient. 

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Phases of the energy efficient reconstruction of primary school Ljudevit Gaj in Osijek.   © CHEE Phases of the energy efficient reconstruction of primary school Ljudevit Gaj in Osijek. © CHEE

" This project was a turning point for the city of Osijek’s energy efficiency efforts. From its theoretical approach to its savings and environmental benefits, it has become a practical solution for the wellbeing of children and the general public. "

Mira Lizačić, Vidaković, Senior Advisor

The CHEE project aimed at using and developing Energy Efficiency (EE) and Renewable Energy Sources (RES) technologies to address a common issue – buildings account for some 40 % of the total energy consumption in both Hungary and Croatia. 

The project was steered by a wide range of partner organisations: two local governments, one regional development agency, two universities and two NGOs. However, the practical part – the reconstruction of existing public buildings so as to make them more energy efficient - was carried out by local companies, selected in a public procurement process. These adaptions then served as reference points for similar projects in the region.

Efficient solutions and best practice

In addition, the project aimed at developing tools allowing public authorities to make a correct cost-benefit analysis of conceived reconstruction projects. As many public bodies are faced with budget constraints, and new technologies for adapting buildings emerge, picking the most adequate and appropriate solution is key. To this end, a tailored software meeting the needs of both countries was developed by the economics faculties at the universities in Pècs (Hungary) and Osijek (Croatia). 

The project also had a strand devoted to dissemination and sharing of best practices, realised through a number of cross-border workshops, exhibitions and other events. Thanks to this proactive approach, some 4 000 people benefitted directly from the project, whereas an estimated 22 000 people benefitted indirectly. 

Linking research and development institutions and businesses on both sides of the border, the project has laid the foundations for an integrated network of partners, who continue to plan and run EE and RES related reconstruction projects. From a Croatian viewpoint, CHEE has helped develop the country’s national Energy Efficiency legislation, which had just started to be developed at the outset of the project in 2011. 

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Joint Research and Development of Energy Efficiency measures in cities of Cross-border Region (CHEE)” is EUR 491 840, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund and the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance are contributing EUR 409 503 from the Operational Programme “Hungary-Croatia (IPA) CBC Programme” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

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