The countries of the European Union are hurriedly planning and implementing recommendations and mandatory measures that would limit the consumption of electricity and thermal energy and encourage its responsible use. Lights are turned off at numerous facilities. While Europe is afraid of shortages, in BiH there is currently only fear of more expensive energy sources and recommendations for more rational use of electricity. Do we have a savings plan?
The lights of the Eiffel Tower will be dimmed, the pyramids of the Paris Louvre will be extinguished two hours earlier than usual. The implementation of what the European public has been talking about all summer is now taking shape. Many countries, fearing an energy crisis, limit the heating temperature in public rooms to a maximum of 19 degrees, limit the lighting of public monuments, the lighting of illuminated advertisements, and street and shop window lighting. Both citizens and the economy are invited to save.
“In the past we paid 160 euros for heating and hot water every month. But now it goes to 268 euros, which means we have to pay 108 euros more every month,” says Barbara from Berlin.
“The turnover of this company is growing, but despite this, if we maintain production, our energy costs are expensive. This can represent up to 40% of our turnover, which is unsustainable,” says José Luis Lacuna, owner of the glass processing company.
Unlike the European Union, in BiH for now only recommendations for rational use of energy. At the beginning of this month, the Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina called on citizens and companies to save. Following the example of the countries of the Union, public institutions were asked to prepare savings plans. However, public facilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina have not yet adopted the latest European practice, which does not mean that they will not.
“At the very last course, we discussed the issue of turning off outdoor lighting and came to the conclusion that we will examine practice and experience from the region and Europe,” says Meliha Redžić, head of the City Hall Service.
“It is possible that something like that will happen here as well. There are no big savings. I think that awareness is more affected. The biggest consumer of electricity in Banja Luka is public lighting. Over two million BAM are the costs of paying for electricity and for several years continuously we are working to reduce consumption by applying energy efficiency measures,” emphasizes Boriša Mandić from the Department for Municipal Affairs of the City of Banjaluka.
Bills and prices are currently at the top of the priorities of BiH citizens, so saving is the only option.
“I always save. In what way? – I have a solar collector, steam heating, everything works for me, and hot water and I cook with gas”;
“As much as possible, because we should try to help as much as we can individually. In what way? – When the electricity is cheap, we turn off the light, turn on the boiler only sometimes when necessary”;
“It was worse, during the war we had nothing, neither water nor electricity, so we got by, there was gas, we extracted it from the ground”;
“Rational use of energy, changing the very habits of heating rooms at the appropriate temperature that we use, also using electrical devices in those periods when we need them, and those who have the possibility of using electricity at a cheap tariff, in winter from 1-4 hours or in the evening from 10 to in the morning at 7:00 a.m. and that way we try to reduce our energy needs and thus stay at last year’s level of the bill or slightly higher,” says energy expert Nihad Harbaš.
Domestic electricity companies assure that there will be no increase in electricity prices, at least not until the end of the year, and that the electricity system is stable. But they say – electricity cannot be an alternative to heating.
“Our blocks are old blocks and approximately they have a degree of utilization in the summer period of some 30-32%, in the winter period a little more and when we convert it into tons, it means that out of 1000 t of coal we convert 300 t into electricity. 700 t goes into some losses and then it is completely technically unjustified to return those 300 t of electricity to heating,” says the director of Elektroprivreda BiH, Admir Andelija.
Winter is just around the corner, and new gas prices are waiting. Electricity prices are certain until the end of the year, but not from the next, experts say, and they repeat, saving has no alternative.