Improving life of people with low incomes

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Improving life of people with low incomes

Gostivar, Macedonia
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$500,000 - $1 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Being a candidate country to EU, Macedonia aims to harmonize its policies, laws, regulations and standards with those of EU. This includes measures to promote energy conservation and energy efficiency and to increase the share of electricity produced from renewable energy sources. In order to meet growing demands and partly substitute imported electricity, Macedonia needs to improve the energy efficiency mechanism and stimulate the use of renewable energy sources that eventually shall lead to reduced energy consumption, reduced energy bills and increased savings. Therefore it is critically important for the country to continue to meet the challenges for improving energy and increase the share of renewable energy in the overall energy balance throughout providing the solar outdoor lighting for families with low incomes.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The Former Yugoslavic Republic of Macedonia, here after referred to as Macedonia, faces an imminent energy crisis. Within five years, Macedonia's current extremely low energy price will reach fair market value through the deregulation of energy companies. Macedonia currently enjoys energy prices far below of those of EU and even other South Eastern European nations. At present, the residential electricity price is considered to be a social category in order to protect the low incomes households. The situation is likely to change with the deregulation of electricity market that should introduce electricity market price by January 1, 2015. To sum up the problem, Macedonia faces an immanent economic and social crisis. Within five years, electricity prices will reach three times their current level, while if the current situation continues the general citizenry will remain ignorant of energy efficiency (EE) strategies. This will result in an economic collapse. Economically Macedonia is a fragile state. Unemployment is as high as 50% in some locations, and the average monthly incomes is approximately 325 Euro. Based on the current situation in Macedonia, and the current efforts to make EE strategies more mainstream, Macedonia's fragile economy may well collapse when energy prices reach a fair market value. Therefore, it is imperative that local governing bodies take a more active role in educating the population about EE.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

In 2006 the household energy consumption per unit of GDP in Macedonia is 4 time higher than the average in the developed European countries. The average family consumes 57% of the energy for heating, 25% fo the home appliances (stove, refrigerator, vacuum cleaner, washing machines, air conditioning, ventilators, TV-set, computers etc) as well as for street lighting, 11% for sanitary water and 7% for illumination. The electricity consumption for heating of the house hold is around 18% of the total electricity consumption in the household. The considerable potential for improving energy efficiency in buildings use by households with low incomes makes the residential sector a key target for energy efficiency improvement programs. Priority targets for commercial projects include lighting systems.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The reason for steady increase of energy consumption in Macedonia over the last decade is two-fold; the increase of economic activity in industry on one side and the outdated technological means and old infrastructures that accelerates the inefficient use of energy on the other side. Implementation of energy measures shall in households, spending less on energy bills. The saved money can be spent in many ways that improve the lives and conditions for consumer and citizen especially, those with low incomes. For example, if all streetlights in Macedonia were exchanged for more energy efficient high-pressure sodium lamps saving of more than 38% of the street lighting electricity use, or the equivalent of 28 GWh of power would be achieved annually. Moreover, if all households in Macedonia had energy efficient lighting they would achieve electricity savings of 20% or more and the country could save the another 500 GWh of power for year. Such savings would help reduce Macedonia's import dependence of energy and provide investments on the domestic market.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The municipality of Gostivar is located in the North Western corner of Macedonia.It is a multi ethnic community of a majority Albanian population. It has a large Macedonian, Turkish and Roma populations. As a whole it is a company. As a whole it is a community that prides itself on a multi ethnic make up. Gostivar is part of the Polog region. The Polog region of Macedonia has the highest levels of unemployment in the country. According to the IPA cross border program analysis, the Polog region has only a 19% employment rate, and a 50% unemployment rate. The region exists primarily on outsides funds sent back from families from workers abroad. It is also a relatively young population that has a youth unemployment rate of 75%. The peers can be the central government.