Posted by: Erin Concors, Senior Communications Advisor, USAID
As a humanitarian aid volunteer in Ukraine in the 1990s, I discovered many ways to stay warm during the long Ukrainian winters. I experimented with local methods of heating the small apartment that I rented on Kyiv’s left bank, since I had no control over my apartment’s temperature. To cope with the cold, I would light my antiquated gas oven, turn it to “high” and leave the oven door open. I bought Styrofoam insulation, stuffed it into the spaces between the window panes, and used tape to seal the gaps. Alternatively, when the city’s heating system had cranked up the heat and it simultaneously warmed up outside, I opened windows to cope with the hot, stuffy atmosphere.
This personal experience taught me how great the need is for reform of Ukraine’s community heating systems. Since 2009, the U.S. Government has provided financial and technical assistance to Ukraine through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Municipal Heating Reform Project. The project works to help Ukraine improve its heating sector to deliver quality services to private citizens, public institutions and industry. The four-year project aims to address Ukraine’s inefficient legal and regulatory framework; outdated inefficient heat generating equipment; a lack of heat metering and controls; poor management of heating systems; and Ukraine’s dependence on foreign sources of energy. (more…)