Olga Rosca writes on the Financial website from Georgia about a major bank in Turkey joining an important financing facility to invest in residential energy retrofits.
Işbank joins EBRD’s home energy efficiency programme in Turkey
Türkiye İş Bankası AŞ (İşbank) has joined the US$ 350 million financing facility launched by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) to boost investment in energy efficiency improvements for Turkish homes and help residents reduce their energy bills.
The Turkey Residential Energy Efficiency Financing Facility (TuREEFF) includes US$ 282.5 million from the EBRD and US$ 67.5 million from the CTF. The Facility combines long-term financial support to Turkish banks and technical advisory services for banks and homeowners to cut energy consumption and reduce household bills. The advisory services are financed by a US$ 10 million grant from the European Union and the CTF.
Under TuREEFF the funds are on-lent to individual homeowners, groups of homeowners, housing associations, condominium owners and cooperatives, as well as private service providers in the residential sector such as small and medium-sized construction companies, housing-management firms, vendors and installers of high energy-efficiency home improvement equipment and materials.
The programme finances improvements such as thermal protection, heating efficiency, domestic hot water supply, air conditioning, lighting and white goods, as well as the development of renewable energy systems in buildings, according to EBRD.
The second Turkish bank to join TuREEFF, İşbank will receive a $75 million financing package comprising $60 million from the EBRD and $15 million from the Clean Technology Fund.
The funds are extended through an investment in rated senior US dollar-denominated bond notes issued under İşbank’s Diversified Payment Rights (DPR) programme, an established market instrument used by Turkish banks to raise long-term funding in the capital markets.
Yılmaz Ertürk, Deputy Chief Executive of İşbank, said: “The funds obtained through the new securitization deal we have completed successfully will help support the diversification and lengthening the maturity of our funding resources. It will also let us support the Turkish economy further specifically in the areas of financing of the energy sector and woman entrepreneurs which we, as İşbank, attach great importance to.”
Sylvia Gansser-Potts, Director for Financial Institutions in Turkey and southern and eastern Mediterranean at EBRD, said: “Investments in energy efficiency at home can deliver big savings on energy bills. We are pleased to see growing interest on behalf of our partner banks to on-lend our funds to their clients. Financing and advice are now available via İşbank also and we hope that more banks will join our efforts to promote energy-saving investments among Turkish households.”
The residential sector has been identified as one of the most energy-intensive in Turkey, according to a World Bank study. Data published by the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources indicates that energy savings of up to 30 per cent could be made in residential buildings. Investing in such measures would not only have a significant impact on reducing total energy consumption and import needs (Turkey currently imports 75 per cent of the energy it consumes), but would also boost the economy by creating demand for efficient equipment, materials and implementation services.
TuREEFF builds on the success of the EBRD’s US$ 550 million Turkish Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (TurSEFF) for energy efficiency or renewable energy investments in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the €1 billion Mid-size Sustainable Energy Financing Facility for mid-size investments in renewable energy, waste-to-energy projects and industrial energy efficiency.
Investing in sustainable energy is one of the priorities of the EBRD in Turkey. Since the Bank began operating in Turkey in 2009, it has invested €2.1 billion in 55 energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. To date the Bank has invested almost €5 billion in the country. In 2014, Turkey became the Bank’s largest single recipient with new investments worth €1.4 billion.