The energy and economic crisis in the European markets which was, at first, caused by the increased demand in the post-COVID period, and then by the war in Ukraine, as well as the global geopolitical turmoil resulting from these events requires from all countries to make additional financial investments in order to ensure energy security and stability.
Unless sufficient amounts of energy and energy sources have been provided, there will be neither a stable economy nor economic development which is why many countries in Europe have resorted to adopting drastic measures, bearing in mind the daily disruptions in the market and uncontrolled price growth.
The Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Ministry of Mining and Energy have been making all possible efforts to ensure sufficient amounts of energy and energy sources available in order to meet both the needs of the economy and households, while owing to financial stability and the responsible politics being implementing we are successfully preserving the energy security of the country. We are not making any plans for power rolling blackouts, but we continuously work on ensuring that our power sector increases its output rate, in order to reduce the import of missing quantities and we work on the implementation of projects that improve energy efficiency in both public buildings and households.
Accordingly, possible savings of electricity and heating energy represent an important source of strengthening energy security and reducing costs, which is why the Ministry of Mining and Energy has prepared a list of proposed recommendations for savings in the consumption of electricity and heating energy in government and public institutions, local self-government units, the economy sector, as well as in households for the upcoming winter. The recommendations should start to be implemented as soon as possible, in the period from September 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023.
According to estimations, based on the potentially realized savings, more than 15% of the total daily electricity demand in the Republic of Serbia could be saved daily which, as reflected on the annual level would amount to about 5,300 GWh, out of a total of 33,000 GWh consumed. In other words, there would be no need for annual imports.
The daily consumption of electricity in Serbia is around 90 gigawatt-hours per day in the summer period, and 120 gigawatt-hours per day in the winter period. Out of that, the consumption levels in households amount to 42%, in industrial sector to 25%, transport to 3%, public-commercial sector 17 to%, while losses amount to 13%.
Recommendations how to reduce heating and electricity consumption for the public administration, local self-government units, state-owned enterprises, public institutions and the economy:
- Public lighting –
proposed recommendations for the authorized heads of municipalities and cities:
- that local self-government units start reduction in the use of public lighting on streets, public squares and other facilities to a minimum justified safety level (reduction by 33%);
- to restrict the use of billboard lighting and of illuminated advertisements wherever possible;
- to limit the period for the use of the New Year's decor lighting from 15 December to 15 January;
- to restrict the use of spotlights at sports and other events wherever possible, with a tendency to organize sports events during the daylight;
- to start switching to LED lighting as a matter of urgency.
- Reduction of electricity and heat consumption by 15% compared to the same period 2021/2022 – proposed recommendations for the authorized heads of public administration bodies, state-owned enterprises, public institutions and the economy:
- to designate one of their employees to ensure the implementation of the reduction of energy consumption, in accordance with all of the afore-mentioned recommendations, by applying frequent inspections during working hours, and particularly after the closing time, with the aim of reducing consumption by 15% compared to the same month last year;
- to ensure that lighting is switched off after working hours in rooms where no one is staying;
- to ensure that the temperature in the facilities/rooms that are heated/partially heated is up to 20°C,with the exception of hospitals, social welfare institutions, kindergartens and schools;
- to ensure that old mercury bulbs are replaced with new LED bulbs in public lighting and in buildings used by the public sector;
- to install smart energy management systems for controlling consumption;
- to invest in energy efficiency improvements in terms of replacement of windows by energy efficient ones, improving insulation, improving the energy efficiency of heating and cooling systems;
- to ensure the installation of solar panels and solar collectors on the rooftops of the facilities owned by or used by the authorities that this recommendation refers to;
- to ensure the transition from electric heating to some other type of heating, and if that is not possible, the heating system should be switched to the use of heat pumps, i.e. to inverter split systems where it is possible.
- Proposed recommendations for employees in public administration bodies, state-owned enterprises, public institutions and the economy:
- not to use lighting in indoor rooms and offices in public buildings in the period when there is sufficient daylight, not to install dark curtains and objects that obscure natural light from windows, not to close blinds during the day, to place the desks so that they can use natural light, to switch off lighting when no one is staying in the room;
- to use the stairs instead of the lift;
- to print only the necessary documents in the necessary number of copies and to turn off all computers, printers and other devices once they have completed the work.
- Proposed recommendations for state-owned enterprises and public institutions:
- Public enterprises in the energy sector ("Elektroprivreda Srbije", Joint Stock Company "Elektromreža Srbije", "Elektrodistribucija Srbije" LLC, Public Enterprise "Srbijagas", Novi Sad. "Transportgas Srbija" LLC, Novi Sad) to prepare a special plan for savings in their own electricity consumption;
- PE EPS, AD EMS and EDS shall make plans for reducing the losses in the distribution and transmission networks;
- that PE EPS promotes the saving of electricity by considering the granting of an additional discount on the electricity bill to customers who reduce their monthly consumption compared to the same month of the previous year;
- that PE "Roads of Serbia", PE "Airports of Serbia", PE "Railways of Serbia", PE "Ski resorts of Serbia", as well as local public enterprises take measures to reduce energy consumption within the scope of their activities;
- PE EPS, together with large consumers, to start adjusting the electricity consumption and production schedules;
- that PE EPS performs optimization of the start of operation of cogeneration plants (TE-TO);
- that PE EPS conducts additional market research and implements other models for the procurement of electricity and coal;
- to consider optimizing the date of the beginning of the heating season;
- to consider the activation of cogeneration plants for the generation of electricity;
- that EDS and PE EPS facilitate the procedures for connecting of the prosumers to the electricity grid.
- Proposed recommendation for PE EPS to initiate the procedure for the selection of strategic partners for the construction of power plants using RES.
- The key point of this proposal is that PE EPS becomes the 100% owner or majority co-owner (over 50%) of projects for the construction of renewable energy power plants. The proposed model is envisaged by the Law on the Use of RES and it includes the announcing of a public invitation to interested private investors to become strategic partners of PE EPS, according to the conditions formulated by the RS Government and PE EPS.
Proposed recommendations for implementing measures in households in order to reduce the consumption of electricity and heating energy:
Saving energy when using water heaters:
- use of the hot water heating boiler only when necessary, the boiler thermostat should be set to a heating temperature of up to 60°C;
Saving energy when using cooling and heating devices:
- setting the refrigerator to 4°C and the freezer to-18°C to ensure optimum consumption;
- reasonable use of heating devices in homes;
- during the day, makes use of the sunlight as much as possible for lighting, as well as for heating the space during the heating season, and during the night, close the blinds and curtains;
- do not cover heating elements and appliances with furniture or clothing because in that case they emit less heat.
Saving energy when using washing machines and dishwashers:
- use the dishwasher and washing machine only when full, since that is much more energy efficient;
- avoid drying the laundry in dryers, but dry the laundry in the air;
- the programs of washing at lower temperatures should be used as this can save a significant amount of energy.
Saving energy when cooking:
- pot lids should be used because this saves up to 20% of energy, also use pots that are size proportional to the heating surface to avoid a loss of 20% of energy;
- when the water boils, the pot heating power should be reduced to the lowest possible temperature at which the water will continue to boil. In this way, up to 60% of energy can be saved;
- the most economical cooking is done in a pressure cooker, which reduces the cooking time and the electricity consumed by two to three times;
- switching off the oven 10 minutes before the end of cooking can save up to 20% of energy;
- when using the oven, it is recommended to open it as little as possible because 20% of the heat is lost every time the oven door is opened.
Saving energy when using lighting and other electrical appliances:
- switch the lights off in empty rooms;
- high energy saving can be achieved by replacing ordinary incandescent bulbs with metal-halogen LEDS. These bulbs consume up to 10 times less energy than conventional bulbs;
- turn off the computer after finishing work on it;
- unplug the battery chargers from the sockets
- replace old bulbs with LED bulbs;
- regularly change the filters on the heating devices;
- turn off decor lighting on residential buildings and family houses.
- recommended temperatures for the premises:
- in case of sitting and staying longer, this temperature should be from 20 to 21°С,
- for the rooms in which we sleep 18°C,
- for the rooms where no one stays due to going to work and school during the day at 16°C , and in case of a longer absence at 10°C.
Purchasing of devices:
- when purchasing electrical household appliances, attention should be paid to energy labels. Energy labels provide a clear indication about energy efficiency and energy consumption. Devices with the highest energy efficiency class should be purchased. Each label indicates the energy efficiency of the device in relation to the maximum energy efficiency that such type of device can consume;
- devices should be selected to suit the real needs of the user, as oversized devices that will not operate at full capacity unnecessarily use electricity.
Investing in energy efficiency (reducing electricity and heat consumption) and using RES from own sources (increasing the energy independence of households):
- investing in improving energy efficiency in terms of replacing energy efficient windows, improving insulation, improving the energy efficiency of heating and cooling systems;
- installation of solar panels and solar collectors on the rooftops of the facilities that are owned or used by households.
Proposed recommendations for the implementation of measures to raise public awareness of the importance of energy efficiency, rational use of energy and the use of renewable energy sources in order to reduce the consumption of electricity and heating energy
It is recommended to the public broadcasting service RTS and other media that have a national frequency to take the following measures, namely:
- to broadcast promotional videos in the field of energy efficiency and rational use of energy
- in prime time blocks of broadcasting programs with increased viewership, to ensure the participation of experts who will, by providing useful advice and information, influence the raising of citizens' awareness of the need for energy transition – transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources (hereinafter: RES), ways to increase energy efficiency and rational use of energy;
- to carry out promotional activities aimed at promoting the acquiring the status of a prosumer as an economic measure of saving on behalf of end customers, but also measures to increase energy independence. In this regard, include examples of good practice from the public and private sectors. Emphasize the importance of this measure in the part of reducing electricity imports – every green kilowatt from the rooftops of households and/or industrial facility means a smaller percentage of electricity imports that today reaches 13 times the market price before the energy crisis;
- to carry out other promotional activities in order to raise awareness of ways to increase energy efficiency and rational use of energy.
It is recommended that the public sector take the following measures, namely to:
- ensure the education of its employees on the measures of efficient use of energy, ways of their application (it is possible to use the training developed by the Serbian Chamber of Commerce for janitors and employees in schools), as well as the use of RES;
- ensure the posting of educational material in the field of energy efficiency and rational use of energy in public places where a large number of citizens gather, especially in buses and coaches, in health centres and in other suitable places that already have electronic devices by which electronic content can be displayed;
- in kindergartens, preschools and other educational institutions, to provide education to children and pupils regarding the use of RES, rational use of energy and increase of energy efficiency.
It is recommended that energy entities take the following measures:
- to provide, in addition to or included in the bill for the supplied energy, for each accounting period, contact information and e-mail address at which the end customer or consumer protection organisation can obtain information on available measures to increase energy efficiency and a list of measures it can take to save energy, as well as other data that may be relevant for efficient use of energy;
- together with energy bills, they should print and send flyers that promote and make recommendations for energy saving.