Lebanon Businessnews News
 

Green loans
subject to new changes
Semi-annual follow-up

reports among new requirements

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A new set of technical eligibility criteria for National Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Action (NEEREA) loans has been announced.

The criteria were finalized by the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC) based on a request from the Central Bank (BDL).

Mazen Halawi, Deputy Director of the financing unit at BDL said: “Real estate development is one the main reasons behind changing the criteria.”

Property developers are one of the biggest applicants of NEEREA loans. BDL is concerned that the loans it is offering them are not being used as first intended.

He said: “We need to impose strict rules over developers and have better monitoring of their implementation of the loans.”

Halawi said: “Major changes will be specifically targeting the criteria of green buildings.” The new conditions will go into effect from 2017. They will be applied to all future renewable energy and energy efficiency loan requests for certified facilities, as well as for existing and new non-certified facilities.

Non-certified facilities will also be subject to other criteria changes. They will be applied across residential, industrial, and commercial sectors.

Concerning the criteria for photovoltaic (PV) applications in the residential sector, Melda Jabbour, Programs Engineer at LCEC, said: “LED lighting in residential projects should be a prerequisite.”

For non-residential sectors and existing facilities, LCEC will be asking for a replacement of 25 percent of the existing lighting in the facility with LED lighting.

For new non-residential facilities, all lighting will be LED. Jabbour said: “All projects over 60 kilowatt peak should have post installation monitoring.”

A structural design for the metallic mounting will also be requested. For the industrial sector, LCEC will request a mandatory energy audit before implementing the PV systems.

For energy efficient applications, the new criteria for all system sizes are that new residential facilities are required to have at least ten percent of the investment cost covered by energy savings per year. For industrial facilities, at least 20 percent of the investment cost should be covered by energy savings per year.

For LEED certified new residential facilities, the projects of developers applying for NEEREA should be made up of four floors or more. Accepted types are LEED for New Construction and Renovation, and LEED for core and shell.

Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) criteria for single residential or multiple residential and for partially or fully fitted projects may apply for NEEREA loans.

For certified green buildings, applicants should submit semi-annual reports to the LCEC in order for the latter to follow up on the progress of the approved project. The percentage of completion of every task must be included.

According to Halawi, over 464 loans were approved with a total of $322 million since NEEREA was launched in 2012. Around 340 PV projects of a total installed capacity of 13.5 MW were completed since. Around 42 projects are in the pipeline with a total of $12 million.

The three leading banks that provided green financing are Bank Audi, Banque Libano-Francaise (BLF), and BLC.
Reported by Yassmine Alieh
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Date Posted: Sep 23, 2016