Slovakia's largest regional energy efficiency forum brings together more than 250 professionals from Central and Eastern Europe
Ivaylo Alexiev, Director of SEDA, was among the nominees for the "Energy Champion" of the region.
The C4E Forum, the largest regional event on energy efficiency in the CEE region, took place in Samorin, Slovakia from 22-25 May 2023. The fourth edition of the initiative was organised by the international initiative Renovate Europe with the help of local partner Buildings for the Future Slovakia and began with a personal address by the President of the Slovak Republic Zuzana Čaputová. The main topics discussed were energy security, the reconstruction of Ukraine and EU energy efficiency policy, with a focus on the ongoing REPowerEU and Fit-for-55 initiatives. The event also identified an "Energy Champion" for the region - Czech Deputy Minister of the Environment Jan Križ for his contribution to the implementation of highly successful national building renovation programmes, including the ongoing "Nová zelená úsporám" (New Green Savings).
Among the seven nominees was the Executive Director of the Sustainable Energy Development Agency, Eng. Ivaylo Alexiev for the successful conduct of the public consultations on the Long-term National Strategy for Building Renovation and his active professional participation in all public discussions on the topic.
"Although the region is achieving undeniable successes, it is still very difficult to provide complete and reliable data for meaningful energy planning. That is why we need to keep working in this direction, because without good planning we cannot expect good implementation," said Eng. Alexiev during the award ceremony.
Among the more than 250 participants in the event, the Bulgarian group included 11 representatives of some of the most active NGOs and professional organizations working in the field of sustainable energy – The Center for Energy Efficiency EnEffect, Habitat Bulgaria, BAICW, Alliance for Energy Efficiency, Knauf Insulation, etc. In the European Year of Skills, EnEffect's "nZEB Ready" ("Ready for Zero Energy Buildings") workshop on energy efficiency training and demonstrations was one of the most attended and memorable events in the Forum's programme. EnEffect also won the award for the best poster - on "Multilevel governance and local government participation in climate and energy policies". The Bulgarian representatives participated in workshops on various topics such as the role of building renovation in reducing energy poverty, the role of guaranteed performance contracts, the development of building performance certificates, opportunities for the development and support of one-stop shops for participation in building renovation programmes, etc.
"C4E is one of the key events in the field of energy efficiency for the region, and now not only for the region" - said Dragomir Tzanev, Executive director of EnEffect. "In the current situation, which requires very decisive and courageous political actions, they cannot be justified without the participation of specialists, and this is precisely the most important function of such events."
In a context where the new Energy Efficiency Directive and Energy Performance of Buildings Directive are already in the tripartite negotiation phase and their final adoption is expected this year, the C4E Forum was a great opportunity for stakeholders to witness how this crucial process is progressing. Together with this, the initiative provided an opportunity to discuss whether REPowerEU funds are being adequately redirected towards energy efficiency measures, as well as to identify opportunities and means for the transparent management of resources under the anticipated Climate and Social Fund. These topics will also be the focus of the next major event in the field - the European Sustainable Energy Week in Brussels (20-22 June).