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Government Tweaks Energy Efficiency Law

The government has approved a wide-ranging package of amendments to existing legislation in an effort to address hiccups in the country’s stalled energy efficiency strategy.

The changes, unveiled late last week, include amendments to the laws regulating state guarantees to lower the minimum possible credit that regional governments and organizations are able to take out, focus on energy efficiency in the transportation and industrial spheres, and replace obligatory energy performance audits with mandatory measures.

The measures, largely based on recommendations drawn up by experts at a conference in Yekaterinburg in April, are meant to reboot the 2009 Energy Efficiency Law.

That law set a target of slashing Russia’s energy consumption per unit of GDP by 40 percent compared with 2007 levels by 2020. It also required every government agency to carry out audits of its energy consumption and each regional government to draw up an energy-efficiency strategy.

Boosters say energy consumption in the public sector has fallen 14 percent since 2007. But some experts estimate that about half of the organizations charged with producing an energy audit will fail to do so by the deadline of the end of this year, and that many of the audits produced so far are of poor quality and not suitable for practical use, Kommersant reported.

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