Bulgarian Pilot Project

Increasing awareness with home owners, raising energy efficiency and quality standards for the energy renovation of large scale residential buildings in Bulgaria

The Bulgarian REQUEST pilot project aims at transferring optimization methods for building energy saving refurbishments according to the Energy Efficiency Law and its secondary legislation. During the pilot project a replicable scheme is created for the renovation of multifamily buildings in Bulgaria. The project is expected to contribute a to setting up a boarder development/initiative for protecting the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions through energy saving retrofit of buildings.

The pilot project focuses on one type of multifamily buildings and in total 6 residential blocks of flats in the towns of Sofia, Bourgas, Svishtov, Blagoevgrad and Gotse Delchev are refurbished with a total floor area of 9649 sq. m. The majority of the housing units in these residential blocks are in private ownership of the residents. As a first step in the pilot project, energy audits were made and based on them EPCs with energy efficiency recommendations were issued for each block of flats. These recommendations include, as follows:

  • Insulation of walls, roofs, and floors
  • Replacement/installation of energy efficient windows
  • Measures for upgrading the heating system
  • Measures for upgrading the lighting system

The recommendations add up to a plan for complete renovation rather than for partial interventions and implementations of stand-alone measures. Once the recommendations are being implemented, a comprehensive study of the scope and the quality of implementation of the energy efficiency measures in the 6 blocks of flats is undertaken. Discrepancies are highlighted, the reasons for those are examined and solutions are proposed for bridging them. After completion of renovation works an owner satisfaction study is made among the householders in the buildings concerning the level of their satisfaction with the energy saving renovation undertaken.

In the last stage of the pilot project, the aim is to broadly communicate the results of the pilot project to convince other Bulgarian municipalities, relevant building associations and multi-residential building owners/managers to put EPC recommendations into practice.

The experience, lessons learned and recommendations developed by the pilot project will be used for the future implementation of the National Programme for the Renovation of Residential Buildings, which will be financed by the national budget, as well as for the implementation of Action 1.2 “Housing Policy” of Operational Programme Regional Development, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.