Efficient energy use (energy efficiency) = reducing the amount of energy used to perform equal work
Energy efficiency is the most effective way to achieve sustainable development goals, having regard to the fact that greater efficiency contributes to reducing emissions of noxious gases into the environment, higher industrial competitiveness, and opening of new jobs and enhancing security of energy supply. This is precisely why energy efficiency is at the heart of the integrated European Union (EU) energy policy, aiming at reducing total consumption of energy by 20% by 2020 relative to the base projections.
In compliance with EU directives, Croatia has adjusted its development strategy to the principles of sustainability, so the Energy Strategy of the Republic of Croatia and the National Energy Efficiency Programme underline specific measures whose implementation will achieve the goals of final consumption energy savings by 2016.
The Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund (EPEEF) has a key role in promoting the implementation of energy efficiency measures at national, and energy management measures at local level. The Fund’s resources are used to finance the projects of energy retrofit of existing homes, residential and commercial (non-residential) buildings, projects for the construction of energy efficient structures, use of renewable energy sources, projects for enhancing energy efficiency of public lighting, as well as industrial energy efficiency projects. Moreover, part of the funding is allocated for the activities of promoting green transportation, and for other programmes and projects comprising education, information campaigns and encouraging sustainable development.
Beneficiaries of the Fund’s resources may be units of local and regional self-government, institutions, companies, civil society organisations and citizens, and that exercise the right to have their projects co-financed by applying to public contests and calls, or by applying directly.