Bulgaria Boasts New Energy Effectiveness Program

Bulgaria in EU | March 2, 2011, Wednesday // 12:43|  views

EC data shows energy consumption per person in Bulgaria is 7 times higher than the EU average. File photo

Bulgaria is launching a brand new program for the management of projects for energy effectiveness funded with EUR 200 M by the EU Competitiveness program.

The funds will be managed by 10 commercial banks in the country, according to the Memorandum signed Wednesday between the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Bulgarian Economy and Energy Ministry, represented by Minister, Traicho Traikov.

EBRD will offer an additional EUR 50M to 150 M to the banks in the form of credit lines to co-finance future energy effectiveness projects. The 10 banks are yet to be selected by EBRD.

Traikov says that between EUR 400 M and 600 M in real money will reach the business to improve energy effectiveness while the projects will be submitted to the branches of these 10 banks and evaluated by bank experts from the respective bank. This will secure for the approved projects both grant money and bank co-financing.

EBRD will further provide technical assistance in the amount of EUR 1 M through know-how and experts.

Karsten Rasmussen, Head of the "Bulgaria" Unit at the European Commission's Main Directorate "Regional Policy," said this is a "historic day."

"Statistics show energy consumption per person in Bulgaria is 7 times higher than the EU average. This must end. The Memorandum will assist Bulgarian business to improve energy effectiveness and reduce expenses. For the first time there will be coordinated activities in the simultaneous granting of loans and free help under unified rules. The application process would become way more optimized requiring less time and money," Rasmussen said.

The new system is to become fully in place by the end of the summer of this year.

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Tags: EC, energy consumption, energy effectiveness, Economy and Energy Ministry, Traicho Traikov, EBRD, EU Competitiveness Program, Karsten Rasmussen, regional policy


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