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The Growth Point for Regions

Promotion of the energy efficient style of life became one of the criteria for assessment of regional authorities. The Ministry of Energy published the second rating of the energy efficiency of the Russian regions. As the data show, the level of budget financing is not always the governing factor for implementation of the energy efficiency programs. 

To identify the place of a region in the rating of the energy efficiency , the Ministry of Energy in the first turn considered the level of energy intensity of the regional gross product (RGP). The dynamics of this index in the last three years based on the Rosstat data was also taken into account.

For better objectivity, all subjects of federation were divided in three groups by the level of budget economic security. For the assessment of the regions, such components as energy efficiency of state-funded buildings and the quota of energy efficient equipment in the external lightening and heat supply were taken into account. Inclusion of energy efficiency elements in the regional programs and availability of regulatory recommendations and requirements for the energy efficiency in construction development and major structural repairs were also taken into consideration.  As of this year, “promotion of the energy saving style of life” and application of energy certification are considered a plus for the region.

Rating of the regions’ energy efficiency, as its initiators meant it, was intended not only to assess how the regions implemented the state policy in this sphere but also to become an instrument for influencing their work. The rating is aimed to “provide new information capacities for regional teams and offer objective comparative data for plans and programs generation at the regional level.”  

During the year since the previous rating, several regions have significantly increased their indexes and positions. St. Petersburg became the unquestioning leader in the first (“financially better off”) group and the accumulated rating; it has 65.3 score.  In the last year, the region managed to rise from the third position to the first and deprive of leadership the Khanty-Mansiisk Autonomous District (KMAD). In experts’ opinions, this was to a big extent stipulated by the high rates of installation of customized heat supply substations (CHSS) with automatic weather control.  

In the recent time, the quota of CHSSs is factored in the “key performance index” (KPI) of heads of St. Petersburg municipal district administrations. The City Committee on Energy and Engineering Provision has developed a complex program for the development of communal infrastructure until 2025. It foresees construction of various heat, power, gas, and water supply and water discharge facilities with consideration of rational use of all types of resources. 

 

KMAD, the leader of the previous rating, failed to reach St. Petersburg by the quota of using energy efficient light sources in the street and road facilities and provision of multi apartment houses with communal heat metering devices. 

The Murmansk Region remained the leader among the subjects of federation with medium state financing. This region has slightly outstripped the Lipetsk and Belgorod Regions.  The Murmansk Region was selected as the pilot region for preparation for and implementation of projects at the account of non-budgetary sources including using the mechanisms of so-called energy performance contracts. Such a contract provides for implementation of energy-saving measures at the account of the energy service company which invests the loaned funds into these measures and later on it recompenses the loans for purchasing and installation of light-emitting diodes or CHSSs at the account of saved light and heat. 

The Belgorod Region was “mentioned” in the rating for its practically totally energy efficient lightening in the street and road facilities, while the Lipetsk Region was distinct with the high level of equipping multi apartment houses with communal energy metering devices: 90%, while the average for Russia index amounts to 61.6%.

The Stavropol Kray, Republic of Mari El and Chuvashia became the leaders in the group with low budget provision.  Notably, the Stavropol Kray rose to the ninth place from its previous 53rd. First and foremost, this happened at the account of submission of energy declarations and abiding to regional requirements on the energy efficiency of buildings.

Noteworthy, the majority of Russian regions increased the amount of their scores in this second rating as compared to the last-year one.  The distribution of places in the accumulated list of regions’ indicators is also telling. In that regard, the best region in the third (low-budget) group, the Stavropol Kray with its 49.9 score, is very close to the three leaders of the second group and is “an average” of the first group. At the same time, the outsider of the first group, Sverdlovsk Region, is in the very end of the second group and in the middle of the third one (30.9 points). 

Based on the rating results, we can come to an obvious conclusion: low scores in case of high budget provision are a clear signal that the funds are not adequately streamed into the energy efficiency supply. And the low budget provision of a region is no obstacle for achievement of good results. Even with moderate funds available, it is possible to organize activities on efficiency enhancement in a better way. This means that the high and low results depend on the level of initiative and good will of regional leaders. 

“The index of energy efficiency of a region is a very important indicator of the sustainability of regional development,” Olga Senova, Climate Secretariat of the Russian Social and Ecological Union, believes. “Even moderate regional financing might be sufficient for low-cost energy efficiency measures which pay back very quickly (e.g., replacement of lightening, insulation of windows and doors in buildings). Such measures bring a noticeable energy saving effect right away and save funds which can be invested in the next energy efficient measures. Even the cost-intensive measures of energy efficient modernization of buildings or production are beneficial in mid-term, and the energy released at the account of such measures is less costly than that received in the result of construction of new energy generating facilities. Energy efficiency is the ‘growth point,’ one of the most accessible development instruments.”