EU and Slovak Republic funds boost residential energy efficiency in Kyrgyzstan

BISHKEK (TCA) — Many of the countries where the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) invests are known for their high energy consumption. Kyrgyzstan is no exception. It faces a legacy of inefficient energy use and many residential buildings are dilapidated, the EBRD press office reported.  

This is clearly visible around the capital Bishkek. While the city centre has added new, modern buildings to its skyline, the story is different in the suburbs.

Kyrgyz traditional homes, built with brick and clay, have little or often no insulation at all. Some have an open-air attic, exposed to the elements, that is used as storage area.

Kyrgyzstan is three and a half times more energy intensive on average than European Union countries. The Kyrgyz continental climate leads to temperatures ranging from -30°C in mountain villages in winter to over 40°C during summer months.

To foster change, the EBRD has reached out to civil society and teamed up with local non-governmental organisation Camp Alatoo.

The programme was funded by the Slovak Republic and has helped to boost builders’ know-how on construction techniques and materials to use to save energy.

“Together with the EBRD, we launched a vocational training course on residential energy efficiency,” explained Ulan Amanturov from the beneficiary NGO Camp Alatoo.

“We’ve gathered best practice from international experts and we are training builders on insulating walls, windows and roofs. We started in Bishkek at first and then rolled out the courses across the country, to Balykchy, Karakol and Naryn.”

“Home insulation can be very efficient so long as you use the correct materials,” said Jigitaly Shamshiev, a builder who has benefitted from the EBRD’s training activities.

“However, there’s a lack of qualified builders who can do this work. I’m glad I learned how to do it properly as it’s the main source of income for me and my family.”

Jigitaly is one of nearly 100 builders who have already benefitted from the EBRD’s training activities.

The project with Camp Alatoo is relatively small but it complements one of the EBRD’s significant investments in the country.

The Kyrgyz Sustainable Energy Efficiency Financing Facility (KyrSEFF) helps both businesses and residential customers to take out loans with one of the EBRD’s partner banks for energy efficiency investments.

The European Union supports this programme by funding various activities, such as energy audits to help identify the best energy cutting measures and verify their impact. Other donors include Austria, the Czech Republic, Spain and Sweden.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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