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Yerevan, March 23, 2017. In four multi-apartment residential buildings in Spitak town of Lori region up to 20% energy saving will be ensured in the upcoming period. As a Covenant of Mayors signatory the town of Spitak has committed to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020. To reach this goal the usage of clean, secure and renewable energy is prioritized.

Construction activities aimed at improving the energy efficiency in four multi-apartment residential buildings of Spitak are currently being implemented within the EU-funded “Access to Renewable and Efficient Energy in Municipalities Vayk and Spitak” (AREEM) Project executed by Habitat for Humanity Armenia foundation. It is envisaged to implement the following activities in those buildings: renovation of roofs and thermal insulation of attic floors; renovation of wooden doors at the main entrances; replacement of decrepit wooden doors of the back entrances with new PVC ones; installation of new PVC doors at the main entrances.

According to Sergey Arzumanyan, AREEM Project Manager, the construction works of the 1st phase buildings will be completed by May 10, 2017 according to the construction schedule. He states that in the following winter the residents may already feel the impact of energy saving measures by paying less for heating their apartments.

Within the Project it is envisaged to implement energy efficiency measures in 27 residential buildings of Spitak, as well as in kindergarten N2 where all the light bulbs will be replaced with energy saving lamps, and new efficient boilers will be installed in the kitchen and sanitation units.

Multi-apartment residential buildings in Spitak were mainly built after 1988 earthquake and the energy saving norms were not taken into account. Karen Hayrapetyan, Head of the Department on Urban Development, Land Use, Utility Services and Transportation of Spitak Municipality, notes that the main problems of residential buildings in the town are related to the deplorable condition of roofs, staircases, drainpipes. According to him, the Project implemented by Habitat Armenia will help to solve these issues in the targeted 27 buildings. 

The residents of Spitak are also excited with the Project implementation and expect to have positive changes in their living conditions. Arthur Hayrapetyan, who lives on the first floor of one of the targeted buildings, is looking forward to the installation of the entrance doors hoping that it will be warmer in their apartment and they will not have to gather in one room with the whole family in order to pay less for heating.

Siranush Grigoryan, who lives on the 4th floor, notes that though they have recently renovated their apartment, the poor condition of the roof causes many problems during rains and thaw. She hopes that after renovation of the roof the water leakage will be eliminated and it will be warmer and more comfortable in their apartment.


About AREEM Project

The overall objective of the Project is to support Spitak and Vayk Municipalities by developing and testing a replicable and efficient model(s) of energy savings through use of efficient measures and renewable sources in residential and public buildings, incorporated with their Sustainable Energy Action Plans aligned under the “Covenant of Mayors” requirements.
The Project is funded by the European Union and Co-funded by the Municipalities of Vayk and Spitak.
Within the Project energy efficiency measures will be implemented in 27 multi-apartment buildings of Spitak town and 18 in Vayk town.

About Habitat for Humanity Armenia


Habitat for Humanity Armenia is the national office of Habitat for Humanity International founded on the conviction that everyone should have a decent place to live.
Since 2000, through the work of Habitat Armenia, around 5,200 low income families have found new hope in the form of affordable housing and around 6,500 individuals received housing support services.  More recently Habitat Armenia has increased their stake in affordable housing by helping to institutionalize energy efficiency in the country.  By partnering with financial institutions, local municipalities, as well as international organizations, homeowner associations and tenants of residential buildings, Habitat Armenia initiates sustainable energy projects in residential sector.
Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit www.habitat.am.

About the European Union

The European Union is made up of 28 Member States who have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destinies. Together, during a period of enlargement of 50 years, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders.
The European Commission is the EU’s executive body.


Yerevan, 21 March 2017.  As a result of the “Residential Energy Efficiency for Low-income Households” (REELIH) project implemented by Habitat for Humanity Armenia Foundation energy efficient interventions have been carried out in 10 residential buildings in Yerevan.
The closing conference of the project took place on 21 March. The objective of the conference was to bring together key stakeholders such as financial institutions, local authorities, homeowners’ associations and field specialists to jointly discuss the outcomes of REELIH Project.  During the event the experience obtained within the project was presented, and possible solutions for encountered problems and challenges were discussed. 
“Since 2011 Habitat Armenia has been implementing projects aimed at maintenance of common spaces of residential buildings. We are aware of all of the issues related to maintenance, management and legislative framework of residential buildings. We have renovated 10 residential buildings, but this is only part of the work. The other part included work with homeowners’ associations to enhance their capacities,” said Luiza Vardanyan, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Armenia Foundation.
Implemented since 2013 the REELIH Project aimed at development of financial models which will enable the homeowners’ associations, residents, municipalities and financial institutions to jointly implement insulation and renovation interventions for common use spaces of in residential buildings. An objective of the project has been to reduce the impact of growing energy prices on low-income households.  
The first stage of the project involved development of a market model, conducting a study and analysis among residents and establishment of contacts with main beneficiaries and partner organizations.  
During the second stage of the project energy efficient (EE) interventions have been implemented in the buildings, and the efficiency of the developed financial model has been tested.  Within this project Habitat Armenia collaborated with Inecobank CJSC and Yerevan Municipality. A memorandum was signed between Habitat Armenia and Yerevan Municipality according to which the municipality had agreed to provide subsidies to the homeowners’ associations involved in REELIH Project to implement energy efficient interventions in the buildings. Based on the memorandum signed with Inecobank CJSC, the bank had agreed to provide loans to the homeowners’ associations involved in the Project.  
The renovations of residential building have been implemented with participation of homeowners’ associations, residents and bank. The homeowners’ associations received loans and subsidies to carry out energy efficient upgrades. As a result of this the comfort level of residents has been improved considerably. The REELIH Project enabled developing viable financial mechanisms for energy efficient renovations in multi-unit residential buildings.
Mr. Besim Nebiu, REELIH Project Manager of Europe, Middle East and Africa Area Office of Habitat for Humanity International mentioned that previously energy efficiency was not paid enough attention to.
“Now the energy prices have increased, and the utilization and maintenance manner which existed before is no more there. We have to come to the point of reducing the energy costs of households”, added Mr. Nebiu.  
According to Project Manager Karen Asatryan, all of the project objectives have been attained.  For the first time in Armenia it became possible for homeowners’ associations to attract loans to implement renovation interventions in residential buildings based only on own capacities.
The energy efficient interventions implemented in 10 buildings involved in the project demonstrate the viability of the chosen financial mechanism and establish firm grounds for implementation of similar activities in Armenia.
The project has been implemented with funding of USAID and co-funding of Habitat for Humanity Armenia Foundation.
Habitat for Humanity Armenia is the national office of Habitat for Humanity International founded on the conviction that everyone should have a decent place to live.

About Habitat for Humanity Armenia
Since 2000, through the work of Habitat for Humanity Armenia, more than 5,400 low-income families have found new hope in the form of affordable housing.  More recently Habitat for Humanity Armenia has increased their stake in affordable housing by helping to institutionalize energy efficiency in the country.  By partnering with financial institutions, local municipalities, as well as international organizations, home owner associations and tenants of residential buildings, Habitat Armenia initiates substantial sustainable energy projects in residential sector.
Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit www.habitat.am.

Aspiring to find a solution to the problems of management and maintenance of residential buildings “Habitat for Humanity Armenia” foundation organized a round table-discussion devoted to the problems in this field and to the measures taken towards efficient solutions. The main objective of the round table was to unite the key players as well as the main stakeholders of the sector around one table to jointly discuss the implemented works towards residential buildings’ common area renovation, energy upgrade and further steps.   

The experience gained during the implementation of Habitat for Humanity Armenia’s projects was presented at the event, the ways to overcome the existing obstacles were discussed, the foreign experience, the effectiveness and the achievements of the project towards energy efficiency were presented as well.   

Within the framework  of  the projects aimed at common area renovation and energy efficiency upgrade 20 multi-apartment buildings have been improved and AMD 50 mln was invested so far in close cooperation with the Municipalities of Yerevan and Vanadzor, “Inecobank” CJSC and homeowner associations. 

Luiza Vardanyan, the Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Armenia said, “Habitat for Humanity Armenia started the implemetation of its first project in the field of maintenance and management of multi-apartment buildings in 2011. At present we have three active projects and within these projects we cooperate with the municipalities, homeowner associations, financial institutions and others. One of our priorities is to create functional financial models as well as to unite different players in the sector so that the management and maintenance of residential buildings are carried out quickly and efficiently. ” 

Harutyun Khachatryan, the head of unit of work with Homeowners’ Associations of Communal Department of Yerevan Municipality,  noted, “This year Yerevan Municipality planned to  perform renovation of entrances in  898 multi-apartment buildings. We have already renovated 800 entrances and Habitat for Humanity Armenia has its share in it. The present financial model is acceptable for us and in the upcoming year we are planning to include more buildings in our joint project.”

Lilia Azatyan, the senior engineer   of “Taron” homeowner association noted that works of energy efficiency and common use area renovation were performed in one building of their condominium in cooperation with Habitat for Humanity Armenia. They are planning to apply for other buildings as well because they are pleased with the results.

Yevgenya Atayan, advisor at the Department of Housing Policy and Utilities Infrastructure of the Ministry of Urban Development of the Republic of Armenia, noted, “The problems in this field will be solved more easily if the residents are careful towards not only their apartment but the building as well and consider both as their property.”

Within the framework of the project of “Residential Energy Efficiency for Low-income Households” Habitat for Humanity Armenia has launched a new website www.taqtun.am which makes it possible to get familiar with the process of application to the project as well as to get information on the implementation of energy efficiency measures in the buildings.

  

 

Residents of five multi-apartment residential buildings of Vayk town, Vayots Dzor Region soon will pay less for heating their apartments. The construction activities on energy efficiency measures have already been launched in the aforementioned buildings within EU-funded “Access to Renewable and Efficient Energy in Municipalities Vayk and Spitak” (AREEM) Project implemented by Habitat for Humanity Armenia foundation. It is envisaged to implement the following activities: renovation and insulation of roofs, installation of windows in the staircases, renovation of entrance doors and installation of an energy-efficient door in the first floor.

The timeframe defined for the construction activities is 4 months, therefore, according to Sergey Arzumanyan, AREEM Project Manager the works may be completed by the spring of 2017 due to unfavorable weather conditions. He notes that as a result of these activities it is projected to provide energy saving up to 10-20%. 

AREEM Project staff has organized Knowledge sharing forum for residents of the targeted five buildings in Vayk. The forum participants were informed about the envisaged energy efficiency measures, expected results, the safety rules during the construction activities, as well as actions required from the residents. Issues concerning further maintenance of the buildings were also discussed.

Multi-apartment residential buildings of Vayk were mainly built in 1960-70ss and now are in poor condition. Taro Avetyan, Mayor of Vayk town considers the deplorable condition of roofs as a priority issue. He mentions that the energy saving norms had not been taken into account during construction of the buildings. “Thus this Project implemented in the scope of collaboration with Habitat Armenia will significantly foster the upgrading process of the buildings, as well as will ease the burden of residents to pay the utilities for energy consumption,” the Mayor states. According to him the Project also creates a great opportunity to reduce CO2 emissions which is the commitment of Vayk Municipality as Covenant of Mayors signatory.

Vardan Hakobyan, who lives on the 5th floor, was excited about the Project from the beginning. Now he utilizes firewood for heating the apartment. “I hope we would have warmer winters and cooler summers after renovation and insulation of the roof,” Vardan Hakobyan mentions adding that in that case may be he will think about proving his apartment with gas and using gas boiler. 


About AREEM Project

The overall objective of the Project is to support Spitak and Vayk Municipalities by developing and testing a replicable and efficient model(s) of energy savings through use of efficient measures and renewable sources in residential and public buildings, incorporated with their Sustainable Energy Action Plans aligned under the “Covenant of Mayors” requirements.
The Project is funded by the European Union and Co-funded by the Municipalities of Vayk and Spitak.
Within the Project energy efficiency measures will be implemented in 27 multi-apartment buildings of Spitak town and 18 in Vayk town.

 

EU Energy Days in Armenia

#EU4EnergyARM

Up to 60% energy saving is registered in case of full thermal insulation of the building. Due to special software solutions the families will pay less and will improve their family budget. Luiza Vardanyan, Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Armenia foundation referred to this topic during the public discussion on “Energy Efficiency in Multi-apartment Buildings in Armenia” at AGBU office on September 26. The discussion was initiated by Habitat for Humanity Armenia foundation, within "Access to Renewable and Efficient Energy in Municipalities Vayk and Spitak” (AREEM) Project funded by the European Union, joining the EU Energy Days.

The study conducted by Habitat for Humanity Armenia in March, 2014 showed that 51% of families spend 25-50% of their income on utilities. 66% of the survey respondents were from families with an income of up to 150,000 AMD per month.
Taking into account the above mentioned, as well as the importance of energy efficiency and energy saving, Habitat Armenia has launched the implementation of projects in cooperation with condominiums, financial institutions, municipalities, international organizations and the Ministry of Urban Development of Armenia, aiming at increasing the energy efficiency in residential buildings.
"By reducing energy consumption, we will be less dependent on local and imported energy resources, it will also bring to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, which is, certainly, the cause of global warming," highlighted Luiza Vardanyan.

Projects implemented by Habitat for Humanity Armenia offer a range of small-scale events, namely installation of windows in  staircases, roof thermal insulation, partial thermal insulation of the building, etc.. To this day, the foundation has provided maintenance for 10 residential buildings in Yerevan within the scope of "Residential Energy Efficiency for Low-income Households" project, and has committed to improve energy efficiency of about 45 multi-apartment and 2 public buildings in Vayk and Spitak towns.

During the discussion Hoa-Binh Adjemian, Head of Cooperation Section of EU Delegation to Armenia, mentioned welcoming the participants: “Energy efficiency and renewable energy are in the basis of the EU commitment to mitigate global warming changes. We believe that the Government of Armenia will launch incentives for energy efficient investments and the EU will support the Government and the citizens of Armenia to contribute to Armenia's efficient and independent use of alternative energy resources”.

RA policy approaches in the field of energy efficiency were presented  by Hayk Badalyan, Head of Renewable Energy and Energy Saving Department at Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources: "Practice showed that energy efficiency on voluntary basis, particularly in residential buildings, was not very effective. We initiated changes and amendments on energy efficiency and renewable energy in RA law. As a result, we defined mandatory requirements in the law for newly constructed or reconstructed, as well as state financed constructed or reconstructed buildings.”

The law was adopted in May 2016, and entered into force from June 8, 2016. To meet the mandatory requirements there was developed a regulation on energy efficiency requirements residential buildings, which was discussed with stakeholders and passed to the Government for review. Currently it is at the stage of RA Government consideration.

Luiza Vardanyan noted, that it is necessary to apply energy saving behavior, to use home appliances that are labeled as energy efficient, to improve the housing conditions by attic and external walls insulation and  in case of finance availability,  to also install solar water heaters and solar photovoltaic panels.

Furthermore, the speakers drew attention to the issue of raising awareness on energy efficiency among the citizens.
The survey conducted by Habitat for Humanity Armenia foundation, revealed that only 36% of the respondents were aware of energy efficiency and energy saving.

"The systematic nature of public awareness is very important," pointed out Hayk Voskanyan, the CEO at National Mortgage Company.

Habitat for Humanity Armenia implements activities to raise awareness among the citizens. For example, within AREEM Project it has the commitment to organize 4  Knowledge sharing forums in Vayk and Spitak per year, to represent the implemented works, to show the results of energy saving and to give practical tips.
For the discussion video click here.

In Armenia, almost half of the population lives in apartment buildings (429.512 units): Three of each for buildings were built during 1951-1990s period of time. The energy consumption for space heating in apartment buildings accounts for more than 30 percent of the total energy consumption, the previous methods for heating were not based on energy efficiency standards. To solve energy saving issues is significant, as it will entail reforms in energy field and will decrease waste of energy.  It will also reduce toxic emissions and air pollution and will help to overcome climate change. 


About AREEM project
The overall objective of the Project is to support Spitak and Vayk Municipalities by developing and testing a replicable and efficient model(s) of energy savings through use of efficient measures and renewable sources in residential and public buildings, incorporated with their Sustainable Energy Action Plans aligned under the “Covenant of Mayors” requirements.
The Project is funded by the European Union and Co-funded by the Municipalities of Vayk and Spitak. More information about the Project is available here.

About HFH Armenia
HFH Armenia is the national office of Habitat for Humanity International and is dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing and improving housing conditions of families with low income. HFH Armenia implements various projects towards home renovation and repairs, energy efficiency and upgrades of residential buildings in partnership with financial institutions, as well as works toward raising awareness on creating affordable housing opportunities. It has been active since 2000 and has supported more than 5200 families throughout Armenia. For more information please visit www.habitat.am. 



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