The application for renovation of multi-family apartment buildings starts in November

The energy efficiency programme for multi-family residential buildings in the country was launched at the beginning of November 2022. Over 1.4 billion BGN from the Recovery and Resilience Plan will be invested in the renovation of buildings with at least 4 independent dwellings and more than one owner in all 265 municipalities of the country, and the procedures will be managed by the municipal administrations. This was announced by the Minister of Regional Development and Public Works arch. Ivan Shishkov at a meeting with the Board of the National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria /NAMRB/. The highlights of the programme were presented by Deputy Minister Desislava Georgieva and Dobromir Vassilev - Director of the Housing Policy Directorate. The meeting was attended by the Chairman of the Board of the NAMRB Daniel Panov, the Deputy Chairmen of the Association Donka Mihaylova - Mayor of Troyan Municipality and Ivo Dimov - Mayor of Dimitrovgrad Municipality, the Executive Director Silvia Georgieva and others.

Minister Shishkov informed that by the end of September the package of documents on the programme, including the criteria and requirements, will be published for public consultation. "Municipalities will have a big role in the implementation of the renovation projects. I believe that local authorities, being the closest to the people, will be very helpful and flexible in implementing the measures. The procedure will be based on the good experience of the National Programme for Energy Efficiency of Multi-family Residential Buildings", stressed Arch. Shishkov.

The support for sustainable energy renovation of the residential building stock is planned to take place in two phases. In the first one it will be possible to apply until 31.03.2023, and the owners' associations will receive 100% of the renovation funds free of charge. The second application stage will run until 31.12.2023, with approved apartment buildings receiving 80% of the plan grant and the remaining 20% to be financed by owners.

Deputy Minister Desislava Georgieva informed that eligible for renovation will be sustainable structural buildings - blocks or block sections constructed before 26 April 1999, regardless of the type of construction. Owners will be obliged to register an association with at least 67% consent to participate in the programme, as well as 100% consent to carry out the construction and repair works. Each association will have to prepare, at its own expense, a technical passport of the building as well as an energy audit. "A new point in the programme is that we will reimburse the costs of these documents to the associations with which we conclude renovation contracts, so that practically all the works will be covered by the EU grant," Deputy Minister Georgieva said. Blocks that fail to qualify for the programme will not be able to recover the costs of the technical passport and energy audit. In addition to the mandatory energy efficiency audit and passport, the association will have to conclude a partnership agreement with the respective municipality and an indicative bill of quantities and costs will have to be prepared.

The Deputy Regional Minister stressed that there would be no advantage for owners of associations that had submitted documents for participation in the National Energy Efficiency Programme and would have to reapply, submitting all the required documents. Georgieva added that the reasons for this are the different requirements for achieving an energy class under the Recovery and Sustainability Plan compared to the conditions under the National Energy Efficiency Programme. All buildings that will be supported under the new program must achieve an energy class "B" and a minimum of 30% primary energy savings. 

Among the activities that will be eligible are replacement of windows, installation of thermal insulation on walls, roofs, floors, installation of renewable energy sources. Replacement of lifts will not be funded, but renewable energy systems, repair or replacement of heating, cooling and ventilation systems in common areas of the building, replacement of vertical heating systems with horizontal ones, repair of electrical systems in common areas and installation of energy saving lighting, automated lighting and heating systems in buildings, etc. will be eligible. Also eligible for funding will be the accompanying works in the course of the implementation of energy efficiency measures and the restoration of common areas, as well as the restoration to the original appearance of people's property that has been disturbed by the installation of window frames or other to remove local defects and damage, the repair of fire equipment, lightning protection of buildings, the provision of an accessible architectural environment, etc. Activities such as vertical planning of buildings, repair of plumbing systems, furnishing or replacement of home heating appliances will not be funded.

The programme will feature reference prices to be followed when preparing the project budgets.

Dobromir Vassilev noted that the principle of "first come - first served" will no longer apply and so there will be no guarantee that the first owners who submit their projects will be renovated first. "All projects will be rigorously evaluated according to the approved criteria and there will be a selection process to make sure that we meet the EU conditions to achieve excellent results in terms of energy efficiency of buildings," Vassilev said. Among the criteria for approval will be the percentage of primary energy savings, the expected annual carbon dioxide savings, the efficiency of the energy efficiency investment, the number of self-contained units renovated in the building, etc. There are also bonuses for buildings according to the level of commitment of the site owners to the project, the achievement of Class "A" energy efficiency, the implementation of renewable energy in the building or the contribution of the building to the architectural appearance of the locality if there are municipal regulations requiring a certain view of the facades.

"We are counting on municipalities to be our partner in implementing this large-scale program. You have the expertise. Together, under the National Energy Efficiency Programme, we have supported the renovation of 2022 residential buildings with a total area of over 11 million square meters for nearly 270 thousand people. Under the Regions in Growth OP, we renovated a further 745 multi-family buildings with an area of nearly 1.3 million square meters. I am confident that we will achieve very good results now," Deputy Minister Georgieva said.

Source: MRDPW