Factsheet of the 2nd National Roundtable in Bulgaria

“Municipal energy management & sustainable energy investments”

bulgaria

Wednesday 16 & Thursday 17 March 2022

Organised by EnEffect and the National Trust EcoFund. Supported by the Municipal Energy Efficiency Network EcoEnergy, with representatives from the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works and the Ministry of Energy.

Roundtable Highlights

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6 Sessions
Welcome Session
Opening Plenary
3 Parallel Sessions
Closing Plenary
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108 Stakeholders
18 Speakers
30 Delegates in person
100 Online participants
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3 Main Discussion Pillars
– Municipal energy management systems and their role in attracting funding
– Attracting funding for RES projects – challenges and solutions for energy communities
– Unleashing financing for building renovation through involvement of energy poor households

Key Takeaways

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The state should encourage investment in sustainable energy, however, the market remains the biggest driver. Measures are in place to help local authorities and businesses to cope with the consequences of the crisis-programmes and compensation mechanisms are to be announced, as well as a grant scheme for enterprises.

Nikolay Nalbantov, Ministry of Energy

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The experience from the National Energy Efficiency Programme has clearly shown us how with 100% grant funding, homeowners are not involved in the renovation process, which affects the quality of the implementation of the programme, highlighting legal barriers to investment in energy efficiency in multi-family buildings. In this respect, reforms related to the one-stop shops and a change in the condominium law would facilitate overcoming these obstacles.

Vesela Zvezdanova, Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works

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Unless we had done dozens of energy efficiency projects in buildings and in street lighting without waiting for government help, we simply would not have been able to provide the services and comfort to our citizens now. Municipalities need to transform themselves from energy consumers and subsidies’ beneficiaries to investors, and we have no time to waste.

Tanya Hristova, Mayor of Gabrovo Municipality

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Roundtable Conclusions

Municipal energy management systems and their role in attracting funding

Entry into market-based financing is impossible without tracking and proving results, which is ensured by implementing energy management systems.

The new online platform, available free of charge to Bulgarian municipalities and provided by EcoEnergy, is an excellent tool whose usefulness has been proven by the success of the pilot municipalities in attracting funding and participating in international projects. The use of such instruments is increasingly becoming a requirement for participation in various funding programmes.

Technical assistance is needed for the collection and processing of data by municipal energy managers, which could also be facilitated through cooperation with the energy suppliers.

Attracting funding for RES projects – challenges and solutions for energy

Urgent legislative changes are needed to define the legal form of energy cooperatives and facilitate their connection to the grid, as well as smart metering.

These changes are necessitated not only by the EU’s penal procedures, but by the objective need and market interest in such solutions, which are seen as crucial to tackling the rise in energy prices. Following the introduction of appropriate legislation in Greece, more than 1000 energy cooperatives have started operating in the past 3 years.

There are a number of undervalued areas that are not at the forefront of the public domain but have great potential. These are, for example, owners’ associations in the implementation of energy efficiency projects in residential buildings, which hold a number of unexplored opportunities, as well as the connection of photovoltaic installations with electromobility systems.

Monitoring and verification of results are essential elements for the implementation of future policies to create energy cooperatives in the country.

Unleashing financing for building renovation through involvement of energy poor households

The most sustainable solution to reduce energy poverty is building renovation.

There are already a number of similar proposals from academia and the NGO sector for a definition of energy poverty to be used for preferential funding for vulnerable households to participate in renovation programmes.

A number of opinion polls show that there is interest in building renovation even on a self-financing basis, but the necessary financial mechanisms need to be provided and the communication campaign efforts need to be significantly stepped up.

There is a need for quality assurance of materials and implementation of energy efficiency programmes as well as transparency of procedures throughout the whole renovation process.

The 3 Parallel Sessions were moderated by:

Kamelia Georgieva, Senior Expert at the National Trust EcoFund
Anton Ivanov, Expert at the Bulgarian Energy and Mining Forum
Dragomir Tzanev, Executive Director of EnEffect