Bela Palanka, 23 June 2020

Better Conditions in the Center for Social Work for Greater Satisfaction of Beneficiaries

Through the project "Norway for You - Serbia", the adaptation and energy rehabilitation of the building in Bela Palanka was carried out, which will result in savings in energy consumption and maintenance.

The energy efficiency of the Center for Social Work building in Bela Palanka, which provides support to more than 2,200 beneficiaries annually, has been improved thanks to the Kingdom of Norway. Through the project "Norway for You - Serbia", the adaptation and energy rehabilitation of the building was carried out, which will result in savings in energy consumption and maintenance.

According to the Director of the Center for Social Work, Vladan Vidanović, the employees in this institution worked in warm offices for the first time last winter.

"The building in which the Center is located was built before World War II, while an additional part of the building was built immediately after the war. And from the construction until today, no reconstruction or rehabilitation has ever been done. The windows were dilapidated and more than 60 years old, there was no insulation, and the facade was ruined. During the winter months, it was extremely cold, and the bills for electricity and heating were high," Vidanović recalls.

Thanks to the support of the Kingdom of Norway and the project "Norway for You - Serbia", the façade was completely reconstructed, the roof and carpentry were replaced, and a new type of pellet heating was installed, which is more cost-effective and energy-efficient.

"With the support of Norway, we got, almost, a new building in which the working conditions for the employees in the Center have significantly improved, and thus the satisfaction of our users is greater, to whom we process about 2,000 cases a year," says Vidanović.

The project also includes the application of good governance principles, and the Municipality of Bela Palanka has made a Calculation of annual energy savings for heating and CO2 emissions, which shows that three times less energy is needed now. The savings will be used for one-time financial support to people from vulnerable groups. The Decision on Allocation of Saving Funds due to Energy Efficiency, which is currently being drafted, should be adopted in September 2020, and this activity is being implemented in partnership with the Swiss PRO Programme funded by the Government of Switzerland.

The total value of this project is around 115,000 Euros, of which the Kingdom of Norway invested 100,000 Euros and the municipality of Bela Palanka about 15,000.