CEB approves €67.5 million to Lithuania for energy efficiency investments

16 November 2020

PARIS - The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) has approved a € 67.5 million loan to the Government of Lithuania to support energy efficiency investments in multi-apartment buildings through the Apartment Building Renovation Fund (ABRF).

The ABRF was established in 2015 by the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Environment, and the Public Investment Development Agency (VIPA) to carry out a national retrofitting programme for multi-apartment buildings by blending European Union, public, and other financial resources. The ABRF is managed by VIPA.

The CEB loan capitalises on a previous agreement, signed in June 2019, and will increase the total CEB financing made available for the ABRF to €167.5 million, or 40% of the total fund resources. The increase will help Lithuania to implement the country’s COVID-19 recovery plan while contributing to the achievement of its 2021-2030 energy and climate policy objectives.

Specifically, the CEB financing will support the retrofitting of thousands of multi-apartment buildings to energy class B or C. This will bring a 70% reduction in the current energy consumption and thus a significant decrease in the environmental impact of the buildings. The retrofitting will also result in lower heating costs and consequently in better living conditions for the residents, particularly low-income persons.

The Governor of the CEB, Rolf Wenzel, said: “2020 has been a challenging year for our member countries and the CEB has sought to play its part by mobilising a record €6 billion in financing. We are pleased to renew our support for the ABRF and contribute to Lithuania’s economic recovery. The investments will reduce energy poverty, create jobs across the value chain, and improve the country’s resilience. As we look to 2021, the CEB will continue to support the greening of social infrastructure in Europe and thus contribute to sustainable economic growth and social inclusion.”

“I am very pleased that the Council of Europe Development Bank has approved a loan for the Apartment Building Renovation Fund,” said Kristina Vaskelienė, VIPA’s Deputy CEO, who added:  “Investments in multi-apartment building modernisation bring not only environmental, but also social benefits – reduced heating bills, increased apartment value, and much more comfortable living conditions. During our discussions with the CEB, we felt strong support and encouragement in expanding not only existing but also new sustainable financing.”

[1] Lithuania joined the CEB in January 1996. Since 2009, the CEB has approved more than €800 million in loans to support investments in MSMEs, energy efficiency measures, and public social infrastructure across sectors and throughout the country. In addition, the CEB has mobilised donor funding from the Migrant and Refugee Fund (MRF)  to assist the municipalities of Jonava and Rukla with their cultural and housing initiatives aimed at migrant and refugee integration.  More information can be found here.

[2] The Public Investment Development Agency (VIPA) is a state-owned national promotional institution that provides loans and guarantees for repayable investments in urban development, public infrastructure, and energy efficiency improvements. VIPA’s activities are financed from nation and European Union and other financial assistance programs and financing sources. Details can be found here.

Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 42 member states. Twenty-two Central, Eastern and South Eastern European countries, forming the Bank's target countries, are listed among the member states. As a major instrument of the policy of solidarity in Europe, the Bank finances social projects by making available resources raised in conditions reflecting the quality of its rating (Aa1 with Moody's, outlook stable, AAA with Standard & Poor's, outlook stable, AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook stable and AAA* with Scope Ratings, outlook stable). It thus grants loans to its member states, and to financial institutions and local authorities in its member states for the financing of projects in the social sector, in accordance with its Articles of Agreement.