SARAJEVO May 17 The European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) approved on Wednesday a 32
million euro ($35.6 million) loan to Montenegro to help the
Balkan nation meet an environmentally-driven EU scheme before a
The loan will help the country buy another 60,000 smart
electricity meters and lift installation levels to 85 percent of
consumers by 2019. It will also improve Montenegro's electricity
network and cut CO2 emissions by 86,000 tonnes a year.
The smart meters allow utilities to collect real-time data
on customers' consumption and manage networks remotely,
eliminating the need to send out costly technicians and visits
by meter readers.
Montenegro, which has a population of just 650,000, is
aiming to join the EU. With this project, it will meet an EU
directive requiring 80 percent of its households to have smart
meters installed by 2020 as part of a scheme to promote greater
awareness of energy use.
The total cost of the project is put at 39 million euros,
with the remainder to be provided by Montenegro's electricity
distribution system operator CEDIS.
($1 = 0.8977 euros)
(Reporting by Maja Zuvela; Editing by Mark Potter)