Ukraine , Romania , Serbia

Energy efficiency capacity-builing program for water utilities

SECTOR : , Public


The World Bank

Project description

The Danube Water Program (the Program) has been supporting policy dialog and capacity development in the water supply and sanitation (WSS) sector of the Danube region (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, FYR Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine).

With seed financing from the Government of Austria, the Program is jointly run by the World Bank and the International Association of Water Supply Companies in the Danube River Catchment Area (IAWD). It has been implemented based on a regional, national and local basis in collaboration with stakeholders in order to:

  • Promote an informed policy dialog to address the major challenges facing the water utility sector; and
  • Strengthen technical and management capacity among the sector’s utilities and institutions, including their ability to develop and support service efficiency improvement activities.

The regional results-based capacity-building program for WSS utility energy efficiency (EE) was organized to provide wholesale technical assistance and capacity-building on EE to water and sanitation utilities in the Danube region. This capacity-building program was focused on helping those utilities develop and commercialize their efficiency improvement packages in the market to ensure more effective financing and implementation.


Econoler was hired to develop, organize and implement the “regional results-based EE in WSS utilities capacity-building program”. To complete this assignment, Econoler was required to:

  • Identify the Program’s local partners, preferably those utilities most strongly committed to addressing their EE challenges and having appropriate conditions for an EE program.
  • Design the capacity-building program based on international best practices, existing approaches and local circumstances.
  • Organize a series of technical training workshops with follow-up by local consultants between workshops to train and support the utilities in: (1) carrying out energy audits; (2) developing investment plans; (3) preparing for an EE improvement transaction, probably by applying performance-based principles or ESCO schemes. Those workshops were organized in close collaboration with national utility associations so as to help build their capacity for replicating the approach in the country.
  • Be in charge of the overall delivery of the program.
  • Support follow-up activities, such as EE measure implementation and/or financing.
  • Document approaches, tools, instruments, lessons learned and good practices developed during the activity.

The project achieved satisfactory results: of the 36 participating utilities, 18 succeeded in completing an energy audit. Eight projects had investment committed, reaching a total of EUR 2,362,920. The sources of financing included ESCOs, municipality funds, private lending and self-financing by utilities.

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