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Georgians learn how to save energy

By Ernest Petrosyan
Tuesday, March 16
On March 10 a progress report on the USAID project “New Applied Technology Efficiency and Lightning Initiative” (NATELI) implemented by Winrock International was given at the Georgian Technical University by USAID and Winrock representatives and Georgian officials.

NATELI’s goal is to convince Georgia’s large energy consumers – hospitals, condominium associations and others - to use special materials and facilities to decrease energy consumption and accordingly cut expenses. Financial assistance for people and institutions taking part in the NATELI project is provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which issues low-interest credit of 85% of the cost of taking these measures, and BP, which covers the other 15%.

John Hansen, Head of the Energy and Environment Office of the USAID Mission in the Caucasus told The Messenger that NATELI is a two-year programme with a budget of 2.6 million dollars. “The project aims to help Georgia’s population improve energy use. During these two years we are working with hospitals and condominium associations to help them learn how to cut energy bills. The can do this by installing more efficient light bulbs, improving heating and reducing heat loss. At the end of the two years these hospitals and condominiums will prove to other people how much money can be saved by improving energy efficiency."

At the presentation Chief of Party of the NATELI project Inga Pkhaladze outlined the ongoing achievements of the NATELI programme. USAID has helped install efficient energy systems in the Gudushauri National Medical Centre in Tbilisi, the Georgian Technical University and condominium associations. According to Director of the Sustainable Development and Policy Centre Karine Melikidze, who conducts energy audits for the project, its investment in the Georgian Technical University will be paid back in 2.9 years, and the sum involved is quite insignificant in comparison to annual net savings.

Dr. Karine Melikidze also told The Messenger that using energy efficiency construction materials such as special heat-insulating bricks and window frames, and the installation of modern heating facilities can reduce the consumption of the natural gas by nearly 60%. The replacement of electric bulbs with energy efficient ones can reduce electricity consumption by 75%.