• ELENA-funded technical assistance will allow Zagreb to prepare energy efficiency projects costing an estimated €85 million.
  • The technical assistance services will help renovate around 50 public buildings.
  • Once renovated, the buildings will emit 80% less CO2 and capture 70% energy savings.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the City of Zagreb announced a new European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA) agreement for technical assistance to enhance energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions in public buildings across the capital. The ELENA grant will help the city authorities prepare to retrofit 50 public buildings for energy efficiency, including by installing photovoltaic panels and electric-vehicle charging stations.

This financial support is part of the green transition that is underway in Croatia’s capital. Croatia's 2030 National Energy and Climate Plan aims to achieve a 36.4% share for renewable energy in gross energy consumption by 2030 and targets significant investment across the energy sector, including hydropower, wind farms, solar plants and hydrogen. The project announced today will make a significant contribution to this goal. Once realised, it will generate more than 14.9 GWh of renewable electricity, eliminate 8 700 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent and save 29.8 GWh of energy each year.

The new agreement between the EIB and Zagreb was announced on 1 June at a ceremony at Zagreb City Hall.

“The EIB is delighted to support the City of Zagreb in its efforts to deliver a cleaner, greener future for the city’s residents. This advisory project will help Zagreb prepare energy efficiency retrofits that will make a significant contribution to environmental protection by reducing CO2 emissions and delivering renewable energy to the city. This collaboration reinforces the potential EIB municipal financing and advisory support to help Zagreb achieve its ambitious green and digital priorities in the years to come,” said EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska.

“The initial 2.7 million euros, 90% of which is co-financed by the EIB with the support of the European Commission, will be used to prepare project documentation for energy efficiency retrofits of 50 public buildings owned by the City of Zagreb. The total value of the investment projects to be prepared is 85 million euros and will include retrofitting kindergartens, schools, aged care homes and other public buildings and facilities with energy efficient installations. Public buildings encompassed by this project will, upon completion, receive a complete overhaul and a new look. Additionally, energy efficient infrastructure is also more cost efficient, large amounts will be saved through a significant reduction in utility and maintenance costs after the completion of the energy renovation”, said Tomislav Tomašević, Mayor of the City of Zagreb.

The technical assistance project will run until April 2026. The City of Zagreb will form an ELENA team that will carry out a detailed review of existing energy audits and documentation. Other key activities will include applying for subsidy grants, screening a large pool of buildings for compatibility with photovoltaic installations, and developing tendering documentations and their publication.

Background information

ELENA — powering sustainable local projects around Europe

European Local Energy Assistance is a joint initiative by the EIB and the European Commission. It provides grants to support the preparation of sustainable projects via technical assistance for energy efficiency and renewable energy investments, targeting buildings and innovative urban transport. The EIB assists the beneficiaries in setting up programmes to make the most of the resulting investments. Established in 2009, the ELENA facility helps public and private entities to implement energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable transport projects, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions. ELENA support may be requested for three key areas: sustainable energy, sustainable transport and sustainable residential property. From 2014-2020, this support was granted under the Horizon 2020 programme, and it will continue under the current multiannual financial framework (2021-2027) under the umbrella programme InvestEU.