Warmth in Chuhuiv Style

Since the beginning of the full-scale war, Russian aggression has severely impacted the Kharkiv region. The city of Chuhuiv was not spared either. Chuhuivteplo, a municipal utility company, was hit hard.

Before the war, it supplied heat to residential buildings, kindergartens, schools, hospitals, and municipal institutions. The bombardment left most of the boiler and heating networks in ruins. The energy terror unleashed by the enemy in the fall of 2022 exacerbated the problems.

How to Stay Optimistic When It’s Hard

The company had never encountered such formidable challenges before. Yevhen Filatov, the head of Chuhuivteplo, acknowledges that two years of intense warfare have significantly disrupted the company’s operations.

However, they have managed to surmount all the hurdles. Thus, at the onset of the previous year’s heating season, all facilities were connected to heat on time. Although there were some technical glitches, they were addressed promptly.

Pictured: Yevhen Filatov, Head of Chuhuivteplo

“The teams worked diligently to ensure that the subscribers did not experience any discomfort,” he emphasizes.

“We also successfully prepared for the 2023-2024 heating season.Moreover, the employees are even more hopeful now. Why is that? Because, despite the challenges and difficulties, they still manage to perform their duties efficiently and punctually,” Mr. Yevhen explains.

“And also because the company was able to acquire energy-saving equipment, thanks to East Europe Foundation.”

Took a Risk and Won

This was a novel step for the utility company, which had never interacted with grant assistance before. But they were resolute. They had to process a wealth of new information and make calculations swiftly, but the Foundation also provided active assistance, guidance, and suggestions. As a result, they managed to submit the application as soon as possible.

To participate in the project, they had to select the necessary equipment. This was not a challenge – they had been planning to upgrade it for a long time, but the primary obstacle was funding.

Pictured: Equipment purchased and installed as part of the “Power Up!” project.

“We have a plethora of calculations and a business case that underscore the necessity of this equipment, but the key benefits are significant reductions in CO2 emissions and electricity consumption,” the head of Chuhuivteplo explains.

But these are not the only advantages of the new equipment. It is also crucial that as electricity consumption decreases, the company’s expenses will also be reduced proportionately.

The company received the news of winning the competition by e-mail.

“When we received the news that we had been selected, we were extremely delighted, surprised, and overjoyed. Many doubted our chances of winning due to the high number of applicants, but we emerged victorious,” Yevhen Filatov recalls.

He says that the employees were greatly inspired by the victory and now suggest participating in other competitions or grant programs.

New Equipment Leads to Reduced Emergency Shutdowns

The local community is naturally invested in the operations of such an enterprise. When the radiators warm up, it’s a comforting sign that everything is functioning as it should.

Yevhen often quips,

“Feedback typically comes only when something ceases to work.” He adds, “The most gratifying moments occur when, for instance, we are repairing a malfunction during the night, and residents approach the team, extend their hands in gratitude, and thank us for our dedication.”

In general, the community empathizes with the company’s challenges. They occasionally reach out via calls, visits, or social media posts. The Chuhuivteplo team emphasizes that the assistance from East Europe Foundation will also enhance the lives of the citizens. Why is that? There are several reasons.

Firstly, the service quality will improve due to the supply of a superior heat carrier. Secondly, this improved heat carrier will reduce metal corrosion in the heat-supplying pipes. This implies that the pipes will have a longer lifespan, thereby reducing the frequency of accidents and subsequent emergency shutdowns.

The Foundation’s project, which the company has joined, aids in enhancing energy efficiency and implementing energy-saving solutions. Yevgen Filatov underscores the importance of this, stating,

“We are currently grappling with an energy shortage, so conservation is crucial. Moreover, if it’s possible to consume 1 kW of electricity without compromising the enterprise’s operations and service quality, then why consume 1000 kW?”

Chuhuivteplo intends to continue its journey in the realm of energy efficiency. They plan to replace equipment and insulate boiler rooms, and they are prepared to seize every opportunity to actualize these intentions.

For Your Information

Chuguivteplo was granted the opportunity to purchase and install energy-saving equipment – a deaeration unit. This modernization will enable the company to conserve energy and provide high-quality heat to homes and social facilities.

All of this was implemented as part of the Power Up! project. Developed by East Europe Foundation, the project aims to enhance energy efficiency at 10 enterprises in regions significantly affected by Russian aggression: Sumy, Kharkiv, and Chernihiv Oblasts. The project is anticipated to result in total energy savings of at least 3000 MW per year.

The “Power Up!” project was supported by the program “Promotion of Energy Efficiency and Implementation of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive in Ukraine,” implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and co-financed by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).