The Center for Ecology and Energy Tuzla is a Bosnian-Herzegovinan non-governmental organization that encourages sustainable development in the field of environmental protection, utilizing a combination of educational and practical work with cooperation at all levels of society and investment in the people’s resources.
Within the survey about energy efficiency and renewable energy made for our previous “Green Paper” project, we collected information concerning citizens’ knowledge about energy labels. The results we got were especially striking, in that the data showed only 2% citizens in Tuzla Canton knew what energy labels are. Based on that premise we wrote the project “Energy labels” which CEETZ implemented from 01.01.07. to 30.06.07. The project was supported by the government of Canada and had as its goal to increase the number of citizens buying energy efficient house appliances and to raise awareness about energy efficiency in the area of Tuzla.
Establishing contact with home appliance retailers
The first activity of the “Energy labels” project was establishing contact with retailers of house appliances and shop owners in Tuzla. The project coordinator visited 10 shops of house appliances, collecting their contact information. Also, the coordinator presented the “Energy labels” project to the retailers and offered cooperation in the project.
Contact was established with the following retailers:
- d.o.o. SLATINA SERVIS, 15.01.07.
- ELEKTRONIK SHOP, 15.01.07.
- TECHNOMARKET, 16.01.07.
- OMEGA d.o.o., 16.01.07.
- ARIS ELECTRONIC d.o.o., 16.01.07.
- ISKRA AS d.o.o., 16.01.07.
- ULTIMA d.o.o., 16.01.07.
- ISKRA TUZLA d.o.o., 17.01.07.
- d.o.o. STANIĆ TRADE, 17.01.07.
- d.o.o. BG ORBIT, 17.01.07.
Five retailers were most interested in this project and we signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with each:
- d.o.o. SLATINA SERVIS, 24.01.07
- ISKRA AS d.o.o., 24.01.07
- ULTIMA d.o.o., 25.01.07
- ISKRA TUZLA d.o.o., 29.01.07
- OMEGA d.o.o., 02.02.07
- Their logos were put on all promotional materials
- We always mentioned them in the media and on the web page
- We provided free participation at the roundtables for 2 employees from each shop.
Establishing contact with government institutions
On the 23rd of January 2007 we made a telephone call to the Institute for Standardization in Sarajevo. Employees in this Institute (Mr. Zoran Bilbija and Mr. Radenko Ćoro) informed us that in fact they aren’t responsible for this area. They told us that the Ministry of External Trade and Economic Relations is responsible for energy efficiency labeling.
We contacted the Ministry of External Trade and Economic Relations several times (by telephone and E-mail) where we were told that energy labeling is a new process in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This Ministry couldn’t give us any concrete information about the subject, and most calls ended with them providing commonly-known information about energy efficiency and energy labeling.
A representative of the State Electricity Regulatory Commission (Mr. Enes Mukić, chief of the financial-administrative division) provided information about laws which contained provisions about energy labeling of house appliances.
The main goal of this activity was to collect information about responsibilities, the current situation in regards to energy labeling of house appliances in BiH and further steps to be taken in this direction. We disseminated this information to the public and participants at the roundtables, and used the information in preparation of our study about energy labeling in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Also we used our contacts to involve relevant local and state institutions in this project.
We only got general information from our contacts, because BiH is at the beginning of the energy labeling process. Even so, our research did lead us to the responsible institution and the law framework which is defining energy labeling.
Media presentation of the project
On the 13th of March 2007, a meeting between CEETZ representatives and Vesta Radio director was held, where we agreed about the production and broadcasting of radio jingles and broadcasts which would attract attention on energy efficiency and energy labeling for the citizens.
25.01.07.: one internet article was published on www.ceetz.org
19.03.07.: the first radio jingle about energy labels (broadcast five times daily until 01.05.07.)
27.03.07.: one radio broadcast about the “Energy labeling” project was held, with project coordinator Admir Malkočević as the guest.
29.03.07.: project coordinator Admir Malkočević was a guest on the show “In the Afternoon with TVTK” on the cantonal TV station, where he spoke about the projects “Energy labels” and “Public participation in BiH Energy Strategy Development”.
30.03.07.: before the first roundtable, Džemila Agić and Professor Suad Halilčević gave statements for Vesta Radio
26.04.07.: on International Renewable Energy Day, project coordinator Admir Malkočević was a guest on the national radio station where he spoke about renewable energy, energy efficiency and the “Energy labels” project.
01.05.07.: the second radio jingle about energy labels (broadcast until 01.06.07.)
02.05.07.: broadcast about energy labels and their meaning on Vesta Radio, with guest Admir Malkočević.
01.06.07.: the third radio jingle about energy labels (broadcast until 01.07.07.)
05.06.07.: broadcast about energy labels on Vesta Radio – guest, Džemila Agić.
26.06.07: CEETZ sent a press release to 10 radio, TV and newspapers houses about results reached in the project, as well as the time and place of the roundtable. Media started announcing information about the roundtable throughout the morning and six of them attende the roundtable.
27.06.07.: Vesta Radio conducted a phone interview broadcast on the radio
27.06.07.: statements about the project and achieved results for Radio Tuzla (“Current Events” and “Daily News”), with Džemila Agić and professor Mirza Kušljugić .
27.06.07.: interviews for cantonal TV, with Admir Malkočević and Professor Mirza Kušljugić
27.06.07.: statements for Vesta Radio and Radio Soli, with Admir Malkočević and professor Mirza Kušljugić
27.06.07.: representatives of the newspapers “Oslobođenje” and “Tuzlanki list” took part in the roundtable.
The goal of our media work was to educate citizens around Tuzla Canton about energy labels and the preference for purchasing energy efficient house appliances of class A. In every radio broadcast we strived to suggest that citizens get educational materials from the stores with which we signed Memorandums of Cooperation. We strived to make interesting content in our radio jingles so as to better attract the attention of listeners.
The result of this activity is a raised awareness about energy efficiency of house appliances among citizens, shown by the many customers came to the shops looking for the promotional materials. They told retailers that they had heard something about energy labels in the media and came to check that information, because it is important for them to save on their electricity bills.
We produced the following promotional materials:
1000 brochures focused on the topic of energy labeling, for customers
1000 brochures concentrated on the topic of energy labeling from a retail perspective
500 posters on energy labeling and energy efficiency tips
1000 stickers promoting the purchase of class-A house appliances
Besides distributing brochures directly to citizens, we also twice distributed them, along with the retail brochures, to shops with which we signed a Memorandum of Cooperation: on 20.03.07. and 13.06.07. During the distribution of brochures, the project coordinator and his colleague Advija Đonlić explained their content and educated retailers about energy efficiency. They explained to retailers which information on the energy label is most important for customers to know.
The posters and stickers were distributed on 13.06.07. CEETZ and retailers’ staff put the posters in the shop windows and around the inside of the shops. The stickers were attached to the cardboard packaging of house appliances, directly on the appliances and on the plastic stalks.
CEETZ distributed educational materials to the roundtable participants, during a street campaign in Tuzla on 28.03.07. for “Public participation in B&H Energy Strategy Development” and during education within the framework of other CEETZ projects.
The goal of the materials was to educate retailers about energy efficiency and labeling of house appliances. At the same time it allowed CEETZ to directly educate citizens, as well as letting the retailers educate their customers on their own.
The result of this activity is the education of five house appliance retailers in Tuzla, as well as three stores in Lukavac, Gračanica and Živinice. Some project sustainability is achieved in that each of these stores will in turn educate their customers for a further effect of the project.
The first roundtable “Energy efficiency for electricity and energy labels” was held on 30.03.07. in the conference room of the Tuzla NGO “Amica-Educa”.
20 participants took part in the first roundtable: representatives of the cantonal Ministry for Spatial Planning and Environmental Protection, retailers of house appliances, representatives of the Agencies for Standardization, professors from Tuzla University, teachers from elementary and high schools in Tuzla, local NGOs, the media and ordinary citizens.
The goal of the first roundtable was to gather all relevant representatives in the energy efficiency area and target groups in the same place and explain to them issues connected with energy efficiency and energy labeling of house appliances. Also, the goal was to exchange experiences between target groups about energy efficiency and energy labels, as well as further efforts and steps in this field.
The second roundtable “Energy labeling in BiH” was held on 27.06.07., again at Amica-Educa. 22 participants took place at this roundtable and the backgrounds of participants were similar to the first one.
The goal of the second roundtable was to present the results of our Study about energy labeling in B&H to the audience, to get retailers’ opinions about the project and its effects and to hear about experiences during project implementation. We discussed the possibilities for knowledge transfer to students with the teachers in elementary and high schools who participated at the roundtable. Also, we got one project idea about bringing education of energy efficiency and energy labels to elementary and high schools.
The results of the second roundtable were suggestions for continuation of a similar project concentrated on schools, information gained about the increase in the number of customers who visited the shops of our project partners to ask about energy labels and discussion of proposals for having proper regulations for energy labeling of house appliances.
Study about energy efficiency
After we collected information about strategies, laws and the experiences of our neighboring countries in the fields of energy efficiency and energy labels, we started to write our “Study about energy labeling in BiH“. It summarizes the current situation of BiH in regards to energy efficiency, energy labeling and laws, with suggestions for improvement and development in those fields.
We distributed one copy of our Study to every participant at the second roundtable, and we explained the current situation of energy labeling in BiH by means of a presentation about the most important information found in our Study. We used information from the very productive discussion to provide a concrete list of laws which BiH still lacks, but should have to include energy efficiency as a priority. (Energy Strategy of BiH and an Energy Law, especially including a regulation about the energy labeling of house appliances).
In preparation of our study, we found a lot of weaknesses in the official Study of energy sector in BiH. On that basis, we wrote a project proposal about lobbying responsible institutions to incorporate energy labels properly into the official Study of BiH’s energy sector. The name of this new project is “Energy labels for a better Energy Strategy of BiH”. We have already submitted it for financial support and currently are waiting for an answer.
Surveys, pre- and post-activities
CEETZ used information from the surveys at the roundtables and in preparation for the seminars. Each survey had target questions which helped us to get concrete data about the project’s effects.
The target question of first survey was:
“Do customers use energy labels and technical information found on them to influence their purchases?“
Results: YES – 6, 5 % Some customers – 80 % NO – 13, 5 %
The target question of second survey was:
“Did you notice that customers paid more attention to energy labels and purchasing of class-A energy efficient house appliances, comparing during project implementation to times before project implementation?”
Results: YES – 80% Sometimes – 20% NO – 0%
According to the results above we can conclude that the number of customers looking for energy efficient house appliances has in fact increased and knowledge about recognizing energy efficiency has increased, too.
Seminars in Omega d.o.o.
On 31.05.07. and 06.06.07. the project coordinator and his colleague held two seminars about energy efficiency and energy labels at Omega d.o.o. in Tuzla. Though not originally planned among the project activities, our cooperation with Omega d.o.o. was so positive that they asked us to provide these special training seminars for their employees. In total, 23 employees from each of the Omega stores (Tuzla, Lukavac and Živinice) took part in these seminars. The main goal was to increase knowledge of their employees about energy labels and to prepare them for giving correct advice to their customers wishing to purchase house appliances.
The “Energy labels” project achieved the following middle-term development outcomes:
Educated retailers of house appliances about energy labeling, which can be utilized as a tool for promoting themselves as environmentally-friendly and companies that care about their customers.
Educated citizens from Tuzla, Lukavac, Živinice and Gračanica who will be able to use the knowledge they gain from retailers to purchase energy-efficient house appliances, saving money, energy and the environment.
The Center for Ecology and Energy can use contacts from the Ministries, retailers and customers to develop and implement further work connected with energy efficiency and labeling.
Already a new project about energy labeling has been written as a direct follow-up to the work in this project. It deals with properly integrating energy labeling into the Energy Study of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which itself will form the basis of BiH’s Energy Strategy. CEETZ submitted this project proposal for financial support and we currently are awaiting an answer.
Retailers of house appliances (especially the stores Omega, Slatina Servis Tuzla, “Iskra-Tuzla” Tuzla, “Iskra-AS” Tuzla and Ultima Tuzla), customers of household appliances (especially at those listed stores) and the relevant institutions responsible for energy efficiency labeling are direct beneficiaries from this project. Indirect beneficiaries include the organization responsible for this project (the Center for Ecology and Energy), as well as the general population of Tuzla.
Customers of house appliances will take energy efficiency more into account when making purchases, whether for financial or environmental reasons. This will result in a decrease in pollution as the power plant will need to generate less electricity, and thus an increase in standards of health.
Retailers will see that customers genuinely care about these issues and will themselves become better informed and ready to advise people, modeling their business strategy on the success begun in the five companies involved in this project. Besides that, they will also see the importance of only offering such efficient appliances in their shops.
Problems/risks related to the project
We didn’t have any big problems with retailers with which we signed a Memorandum for Cooperation, except that some were absent from our roundtables. But this is somewhat understandable, because some couldn’t send employees to attend, because they are small companies and don’t have enough employees to both send to the roundtables and still work in the store, since both roundtables took place on workdays. We strived to solve this problem by educating retailers at their working sites and by use of the promotional materials. In any case, the extremely positive cooperation of Omega d.o.o. in the project could be said to counterbalance the others’ absence, as they are clearly working to be a model leader in promoting energy efficiency and energy labels in the retail sector.
PLAN OF ACTIVITIES, SCHEDULE AND BUDGET
We implemented all project activities according to the planned timeframe.
During implementation of the second activity (contacting responsible institutions) we learned that the Ministry of External Trade and Economic Relations is actually the one responsible for energy labeling instead of the Institute for Standardization. This meant we had to slightly change our exact target group.
The only other changes to the project framework were the addition of the two unplanned seminars for OMEGA d.o.o. employees (mentioned before) and that more broadcasts took place than were planned (8, instead of the planned 5 radio broadcasts, and 1 TV broadcast, when none had been planned at all).
The only other thing of note was that during the money transfer from the Canadian embassy to CEETZ, we actually received 524 BAM less than we expected, due to the extremely-varying CAN$ exchange rate. We managed to work temporarily without that money, but our contacts with embassy staff informed us that the 524 BAM will be transferred to our account after we submit the final financial report.
The project coordinator developed the “Energy labels“ project proposal with the female director of CEETZ.. Other female colleagues were also instrumental in designing the educational materials throughout the project. Meanwhile we strove to maintain a gender balance at the roundtables and seminars, both in terms of the participants and those giving presentations.
In fact, most of the roundtable participants and educated employees of the retailers are female, meaning that this project especially increased knowledge about energy efficiency and energy labels among women, which they can use in their future work.
BENEFITS FOR THE RECIPIENTS AND CANADA
Retailers got the knowledge and necessary information that can use for future work. Also, information about energy labels will raise their level of professionalism and have a positive impact on increasing the number of customers who will visit their shops to buy energy efficient house appliances.
This project also helped a little to advertise each project partner, because CEETZ suggested through the media that customers purchase energy efficiency appliances at the shops with which we signed a Memorandum of Cooperation. Similarly, we added the logos of the partner retailer to most of the promotional materials, itself a kind of free advertisement for them as eco-friendly companies.
Customers gained knowledge and information that will help them to buy energy efficient house appliances which will save them money on their electric bills.
The responsible institutions some better direction about priorities (energy labeling and energy efficiency), which they could incorporate into future energy strategies and laws in BiH.
Meanwhile, citizens, customers, retailers and representatives of BiH institutions all saw that the government and people of Canada are actively involved in the building of Bosnian society. The positive image of Canada and its citizens among BiH citizens will make an even stronger basis for future relations between the two countries.
PROMOTION OF THE CANADIAN CONTRIBUTION
We promoted Canada’s contribution by putting the Canadian flag and the text “supported by the Canadian government” on all promotional materials (brochures for customers, brochures for retailers, posters and stickers), all presentations made by CEETZ, and press releases. Additionally, we mentioned the support by the Canadian government in the internet article, every radio jingle, radio broadcast and TV broadcast.
The “Energy labels” project obviously has environmental issues as its primary focus. We supported energy efficiency as one of the most important methods of decreasing air pollution.
Director of CEETZ: Ms Džemila Agić
Project coordinator: Admir Malkočević