The government in Sofia is preparing to establish one-stop shops for energy efficiency in residential and public buildings in every district to provide information to engineers, consultants, building owners and firms. Bulgaria is entitled to European funds of EUR 1.1 billion in total for the renovation scheme.
Deputy Prime Minister for Regional Development and Public Works Stefan Asparuhov said EUR 189 million has been secured from Bulgaria’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan for energy renovation of public buildings, alongside EUR 120 million for buildings in the sectors of manufacturing, trade and services and EUR 613 million for residential structures.
Speaking at a conference on energy-efficient and climate-neutral buildings, he revealed EUR 1.1 billion in total is earmarked for investments in the makeover of public and residential buildings including EUR 182 million from the Regional Development Program 2021-2027.
From structural reinforcement to electric vehicle chargers
Earlier this month, the European Commission approved Bulgaria’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan, consisting of EUR 6.3 billion in grants and EUR 4.1 billion in cheap loans. It is part of its Recovery and Resilience Facility, which makes up most of the NextGenerationEU spending program for a rebound from the COVID-19 crisis.
The European Union intends to invest more than EUR 800 billion through 2026 on top of the regular seven-year budget. The entire EUR 924 million portion envisaged for energy efficiency in buildings in Bulgaria through its national plan is in grants.
The Regional Development Program is also from a mechanism set up by the EU. The funds are for residential and public buildings in the fifty largest urban municipalities, Asparuhov explained. He said the program is intended for investments in structural reinforcement, heating and air conditioning systems, renewable energy, energy storage and electric vehicle charging equipment, digitalization of buildings and other purposes.
One-stop shops for raising awareness, networking, boosting demand
Asparuhov added the funds from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan for residential buildings would be spent on financial, organizational and technical assistance for the energy renovation of multi-family dwellings.
As for the administrative framework, the deputy minister asserted that the government plans to establish a one-stop shop per every district in Bulgaria, under the European Union’s NUTS 3 statistical classification. The idea is to provide information and advice to engineers, designers, consultants, building owners and firms, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, connect them and track the program’s results.
Asparuhov stressed that one-stop shops should help increase awareness, motivation, mutual trust and the demand for energy efficiency services, but also contribute to overcoming administrative barriers and stimulate the attraction of private investment.