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Russian Homes Using Up to 100% More Energy Than in U.S. and Europe

Soviet apartment blocks, such as this one in the central Moscow district of Tverskoy, fail to meet modern energy-efficiency requirements. carlfbagge

Russian homes are using up to two times more energy than those in climatically similar regions of Europe and the United States, and the national housing authority wants to tackle the problem by working with the Energy Ministry to build energy-efficient housing.

Many residential buildings in Russia have been constructed according to government standards adopted 30 years ago, and fail to meet modern energy-efficiency requirements, said a spokesman for the new Construction, Housing and Utilities Ministry, created by President Vladimir Putin earlier this month, RIA Novosti reported.

Energy consumption in Russian homes is between 30 percent and 100 percent higher than than in parts of Europe and the U.S. with a similar climate, the spokesman said.

About 30 percent of water and 10 percent of heat supplied to Russian apartment buildings are wasted because of outdated materials and technologies used in construction, the spokesman said. On average, housing organizations in Russia consume 25 percent to 30 percent more energy than their European counterparts.

The housing and utilities industry's turnover sits at 4 trillion rubles ($122 billion), and Housing Minister Mikhail Men has proposed using some of the funds to improve the energy efficiency of Russian homes, and teaming up with the Energy Ministry to design moderately priced energy-efficient buildings.

Several regions have launched pilot programs to create energy-efficient apartment buildings that rely on renewable energy and require 50 percent less heat and electricity than average Russian buildings to keep them warm, the spokesman said.

However, only 43 such buildings have been completed so far, and another 17 are being designed and built, and the housing minister wants incentives to be introduced for regions that participate in the pilot program.

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