Factsheet of the 1st National Roundtable in Bulgaria

CLIMATE AND ENERGY: POLICIES AND FINANCIAL MECHANISMS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN THE NEW PLANNING PERIOD

bulgaria

Wednesday May 19 2021

Organised by EnEffect and supported by the Municipal Energy Efficiency Network EcoEnergy with representatives from the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works and the Sustainable Energy Development Agency (an executive agency under the Ministry of Energy)

SMAFIN project has received funding from the European Union's HORIZON 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 955857.

Roundtable Highlights

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6 Sessions
Welcome Session – Opening Plenary
3 Parallel Sessions – Closing Plenary Session
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172 Stakeholders
22 Speakers
30 Attendees
120 online participants
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3 Main discussion pillars:
Financing of energy efficiency foreseen in the Recovery and Resilience Plan and the Programme Development of the Regions 2021-2027. The role of the upcoming National Decarbonisation Fund.
The role of local authorities in the implementation of national policies for energy efficiency.
Quality assurance: Energy audits, certification, and development of energy efficiency renovation projects.

Key Takeaways

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A smooth transition to combined financing of such projects is needed to make sustainable energy investments more attractive to both owners and financial institutions. In addition, the combined use of ESCO funding with a small grant can lead to many financially meaningful projects.

Marko Markov, Econoler

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In the case of residential buildings, the challenges that need to be overcome are much greater, because in this sector the percentage of unrenovated sites in a lower class - E, F and G, is quite high - 91%. The tasks are not linearly distributed with the idea that all identified problems and shortcomings for renovation of the building stock should be solved at the beginning of the period, and according to the solution found the process itself will gain momentum, there will be both market penetration and demand for energy efficient services and realization of good projects.

Ivaylo Alexiev, Executive Director of SEDA

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Appropriate funding mechanisms must be set up and European funds must be used as a trigger to start the process and attract investment. The financial market offers many opportunities in this area. If we rely mainly on 100% grant funding, the other market mechanisms are not viable.

Eng. Yordan Nikolov, BACIW

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There must be a mechanism for capturing experience and accumulated knowledge so that it can be multiplied. Only in this way can we move forward. Various financial instruments need to be developed, not just loans, but ones that can use the huge financial resources that are available. All networks for education (community centers, schools, universities) and communication need to be involved, because a grand task that cannot be done by 100 people who agree on the topic.

Julian Popov, Chairman of the Board of the European Institute for Building Efficiency (BPIE)

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Building renovation and green solutions have a socio-economic and environmental impact. They bring huge benefits to cities, to communities, to us humans, and we seem to fail to fully understand them. I am convinced that adequately targeted financial resources and effective energy efficiency policies will have an incredible long-term effect on our quality of life and well-being. However, this can be achieved only through communication and change of attitudes at national, local, community level - something that requires resources and knowledge.

Dragomir Tsanev, Executive Director of EnEffect

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Roundtable Conclusions

Financing of energy efficiency foreseen in the Recovery and Resilience Plan and the Programme Development of the Regions 2021-2027. The role of the upcoming National Decarbonisation Fund.

  • The National Decarbonisation Fund does not need to be an aggregationinstitution to only attract projects, but rather serve as a facilitator in the financing process, especially for the projects from the private sector – providing better financial conditions and guarantees to commercial banks and specialised funds.
  • There needs to be a horizontal dimension incorporated within the fund’s functioning – aiming at efficient communication, trainings, quality control and monitoring.
  • The foreseen resources for the renovation of the building stock in the Recovery and Resilience Plan can be sufficient if the practice of 100% grant financing is suspended.
  • The aim should be at higher energy classes to correspond adequately to the set targets.

The role of local authorities in the implementation of national policies for energy efficiency.

  • “Lowest price” criterion is still the main engine of energy efficiency projects and must be overcome.
  • The market is still not ready for high quality deep renovation projects and services.
  • Ecological solutions are not readily supported – implementing parties are not obliged to abide by a law, so they choose not to complicate their workloads.
  • Lack of effective instruments for control and monitoring – ought to be included in the contracts.
  • Recommendations made were connected again to the necessity of additional trainings of administration staff to work with GPPs and better information and education of the experts, developing GPPs in the municipality.

Quality assurance: Energy audits, certification, and development of energy efficiency renovation projects

  • There shall be a standardised EU-wide requirements for the building energy performance certificates, as there are numerous differences in the contents per Member states.
  • Recommendation to have a single certification register for new buildings,with a possibility that information is gathered by municipalities, then administered centrally.
  • Aspects with room for improvement – raise awareness about the benefits and the application of energy audits and certificates; improvement of energy auditors’ qualification through trainings and exchange of good practices; improvement of the quality of energy audits and the content of certificates; better control and monitoring.
  • Compared to other Member States, Bulgaria has one of the most detailed calculation methodologies applicable to building certification. However, certain elements are still missing, such as the smart readiness indicator, catalogue for assessment of thermal bridges and detailed air tightness assessment.

The 3 Parallel Sessions were moderated by:

Dragomir Tzanev, Executive director of EnEffect
Stanislav Andreev, EnEffect Consult
Kamen Simeonov, EnEffect Consult