April 20, 2010, Artik town, Shirak region, Armenia
In the mountainous town of Artik, 1,780 meters above sea level and a population of 18,000, a community located in the Shirak region is piloting a residential project aimed to combat climate change. In particular, the project seeks to help Artik’s local authorities and housing administration to build their capacity to deal with climate change by piloting the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency practices in apartment buildings in and around Artik.
Major activities of the project include construction, renovation and insulation works. Specifically, the project will support the installation of energy efficient (EE) doors and windows, EE lighting system and solar hot water and heating systems. Last December 2009, once the insulation of stairwells was finished, the solar heating system was installed, tested and put into operation. As a result, one stairwell of the building is heated and excess hot water is provided to the residents.
Even though the project is not completed yet, it has already produced tangible global environmental benefits and improved the lives of the local population. In fact, during the 2009-2010 heating season, consumption of natural gas by residents dropped by 40%, and electricity use was reduced by 10% when compared to the year before. In terms of global environmental benefits, it is estimated that such savings result in a reduction of about 5 tones of CO2 emissions. Regarding the financial viability, so far the project has ensured a cost recovery of 8% due to the substantial savings in natural gas and electricity by March 2010. It is envisaged that by the end of the project in August 2010, the cost recovery index will reach 15%. Assuming the energy tariffs remain at the current level, the overall expenses will be recouped in 7 years, while reduction of CO2 emissions will reach about 62 tones within the same period.
In addition, the pilot building has really become a demonstration site, attracting the attention of many nearby residents who visit the site to familiarize themselves in the use of innovative EE technologies. The project provides practical opportunity for authorities and decision makers to improve the current construction norms and standards in a more sustainable way. Besides, it contributed to the replication of the project in a kindergarten of the Sevkar community, in the Tavush region.
Another notable component of the project is that it has provided training on cost-effective ways to improve building energy efficiency and operation through the application of BEEP-1.0, a special computer software. Based on the demo building model, the project envisages the development of a certificate on energy index (passport), which will be a draft technical document on energy consumption in buildings. The project also plans to develop a BBEP-1.0 guidebook in Armenian and other knowledge management materials, which will be widely disseminated throughout the country.
Joint ownership of solar heating and hot water system of multi-apartment buildings by residents is an innovative practice being successfully introduced by the project, which has a great replication potential in Armenia. In this regard, the project also contributes to the development of an institutional model of joint-ownership, which sets new relationship in the housing administration sector of the country.
The project is strategically very important for the country given that, on one hand Armenia has no domestic sources of fossil fuel and, on the other hand it has an immense potential for development of alternative energy resources use and EE technologies in the housing sector, which has the major share in Armenia’s energy consumption.
The total project budget is US$64,590, from which the GEF Small Grants Programme is providing US$30,970. The rest of the project will be financed by the implementing NGO, the Artik community and partner organizations. The direct beneficiaries are 15 households and 3 public service facilities located on the first floor of the pilot building. Local authorities and housing administrations of typical multi-apartment buildings in 5 representative communities and 2 towns in the Shirak region will also benefit from the project.
More detailed information can be obtained on the SGP website.
Contact: Mr. Rafayel Mkhitaryan, Local Project manager, Tel. (+374 94) 53 58 59