Through its Municipal Networks for Energy Efficiency (MUNEE) program, USAID and UNECE are seeking a relatively low-cost way to disseminate positive energy efficiency experiences in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Russia and the former Soviet Union.
The Alliance to Save Energy is the lead USAID implementer for MUNEE. However, the Alliance relies heavily on the support of local partners, specifically regional energy efficiency centers, local municipal associations, other non-profit organizations, private energy service companies and financial institutions. MUNEE is a forum to disseminate energy management practices from around the region, so the centers and municipal associations can learn what their counterparts in other countries are doing and take that experience - both good and bad - to cities in their own country.
The main issues for MUNEE include the following:
While MUNEE is a regional program, the Alliance is working on several country-specific activities that are tied into the overall initiative. These projects are supported by individual USAID missions and enable us to design more in-depth, on-the-ground programs in selected countries. This deeper level of involvement allows the Alliance to have "laboratories" for innovative approaches on the municipal level, ideas that can then be disseminated around the region.
The Alliance is also providing technical assistance to support the development of a project pipeline for EBRD's Dexia-FondElec Energy Efficiency and Emissions Reduction Fund. The Fund was developed to facilitate private sector investments in the energy efficiency industry in selected transition countries and is particularly targeted at investors pursuing projects yielding significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The Alliance will provide technical assistance to the fund manager, Fondelec Group, to identify several high-quality, end-use energy efficiency projects for the Fund. Finally, the Alliance will work with some in-country partners to channel local financing resources - from domestic banks, SME funds and micro credit institutions.