The World Bank's Energy Efficiency Project in Armenia has improved public facilities since it began six years ago and has provided cost savings of approximately $360 million.
When the bank first suggested that investments in public energy efficiency projects could bring high returns with payback periods of only 2 to 10 years, Armenians initially balked.
“It seemed quite unrealistic that by rehabilitating the heating system, replacing the doors and windows, insulating the attic and walls we would save that much and pay back the investment in six years,” Amatuni Virabyan, director of Armenia's National Archive, said. “With this project we also got exposed to new technologies and efficient use of staff time and scarce resources.”
Now, more than 40 facilities, including the archives, the Armenian State Economic University and the Medical Center of Masis, are reaping the benefits after retrofitting their facilities to reduce energy consumption while also cutting back on greenhouse gas emissions.
The World Bank said another 100 facilities are expected to join the program by June.
So far, participating facilities have invested $3.5 million in improvements.