Prishtina, November 12, 2019 – Millennium Foundation Kosovo (MFK) as the implementing entity of $49million Threshold Agreement between Kosovo and Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), has launched today a $20.6 million ‘SEEK – Subsidies for Energy Efficiency in Kosovo’, an activity to be implemented by a consortia of German companies GFA and HPC.
SEEK aims to reduce electricity consumption in the residential sector by piloting subsidies and other incentives to households to invest in energy efficiency measures. SEEK aims to provide incentives in the form of grants to energy consumers in the residential sector to invest in energy efficiency retrofits to reduce energy consumption, as well as incentives aimed at increasing the involvement of women in energy sector business opportunities, and energy efficiency investments. The primary technical focus of SEEK are energy efficiency measures that will reduce the consumption of electricity for heating and promote the use of energy efficient heating devices. In addition, the project will support women entrepreneurs with grants, supporting their energy needs.
Mr. Petrit Selimi, the CEO of MFK, launched the SEEK project at the event with his welcoming remarks for the participants, partners, and other guests. He briefly spoke of the history of inception of MFK and its agreement with the MCC, emphasizing focus areas of the agreement, namely the focus on energy and government transparency. Speaking of the expected impact of the SEEK project, Mr. Selimi added that, “This project seeks to help over 2600 houses and apartment buildings to be retrofitted for better energy efficiency, but more importantly it gives people data, information and understanding that they can take a hold of their own destiny and their decisions have an impact on their own finances, comfort – and helps the government establish a more sustainable system of subsidies that doesn’t overspend taxpayers budget”.
Present at the Launching event was the USAID Administrator Mr. Mark Green, who also serves as a Member of the board of directors of MCC in Washington DC. In his remarks, Mr. Green pointed out how years back, when he was a Congressman from Wisconsin, he helped draft the legislation that created the MCC. Mr. Green recalled how “the original vision was to identify countries that demonstrated a commitment to good governance, economic freedom, and investing in their citizens—and then create a new tool that leveraged those qualities to generate growth and prosperity”. Furthermore, speaking of how investments in energy efficiency measures will benefit Kosovo and its citizens, he emphasized that, “over time, greater reliability in the energy sector will increase productivity, and lower costs means income-saved and invested elsewhere”.
Participants were also welcomed by MFK implementing partners from GFA-HPC Consortium, Dr. Daniel Wahby, the GFA Head of Climate and Energy Cluster, and Dr. Frank Karg, the CEO of HPC International. The partners emphasized their commitment of the consortium to implement the SEEK Project to the full satisfaction of all stakeholders and to the benefit of the Republic of Kosovo and its citizens.
Following the welcoming remarks by the hosts, project team-members presented the main objectives and Intervention Packages of seek for the audience, followed by a Q&A session. The focus of SEEK’s housing Intervention Packages – Household Efficiency Retrofits (HER) and Apartment Building Efficiency Retrofits (AER), will be on providing financial incentives to the residential sector, whereas the focus of Women Energy Entrepreneur (WEE) Intervention Package will be on the activities that address the barriers to the participation of women in the energy sector as employees and entrepreneurs through a series of proactive measures to increase the employment of women, and to encourage women’s entrepreneurship in the energy sector with grants and technical assistance.
SEEK is part of a larger project implemented by the MFK with the support of GFA/HPC Consortium as Implementing Consultant titled “Reliable Energy Landscape Project” (RELP), with its overarching objective to reduce the gap between energy demand and supply, by lowering energy use through piloting household investments in energy efficiency, switching to cost‐effective non‐electricity sources of heating, and reducing barriers to independent power producer (“IPP”) entrants to the market.