- Access to finance
- Transition to a low carbon economy
Фонд 'Енергийна ефективност и възобновяеми източници'
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Sources Fund
The applying projects must meet the following requirements:
- The project should involve the application of well-proven technology;
- The project cost should range between BGN 30,000 (€15.300) and BGN 3 million (€1.53 million) although exceptions are possible if strongly justified;
- The equity contribution of the project developer should be at least 10%;
- The repayment period is up to 7 years.
A prerequisite for a successful application to the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund (EEEF) is the availability of a detailed energy audit, enabling energy analysis and selection of energy-saving measures.
- finances investment projects for energy efficiency;
- aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere;
- supports the development of the market for energy efficiency projects in Bulgaria;
- provides low interest rate loans; partial credit guarantees; portfolio guarantees;
- offers consultation about financing, energy projects and related topics.
The fund provides investments to improve energy efficiency in industrial processes through the following activities:
- Purchase of equipment, machines and tools;
- Technical assistance and advice on proper installation/installation of purchased equipment;
- Training employees to use equipment and technology correctly;
- Transport and logistics services.
The fund also supports renovation of industrial and commercial buildings, installation of innovative heating systems, renewable energy sources projects and other energy related undertakings.
For those purposes the fund offers applicants low-interest loans to which the minimum self-participation of the borrower is 10%.
The lower interest rates are applicable to projects exceeding BGN 1 million (approx. €500,000 as at 30 April 2020).
- The annual interest rate is fixed for the entire contract period.
- No additional initial fees and commissions on the loan (including fees for early repayment after the second year of the loan).
- For bridge/co-financing under Operational Programmes, funding can be up to 100%.
EERSF provides also portfolio guarantees for energy service companies in case of bank credit lines. This measure aims to support the growth of sustainable energy sector.
EERSF was established through the Energy Efficiency Act (adopted by the Bulgarian Parliament in February 2004) as a legal entity independent of government institutions. The fund operates in accordance with the provisions of the Energy Efficiency Act, the Energy from Renewable Sources Act and the agreements with the donors and is not part of the consolidated state budget.
EERSF is initially capitalised entirely through grant financing – the main donors being the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the IBRD (World Bank) – with USD 10 million (€8.5 million as at 20 August 2020), the government of Austria – with €1.5 million, the Bulgarian government – with €1.5 million and private Bulgarian donors. The official recipient of all the GEF grants in Bulgaria is the Ministry of Economy and Energy (MEE). MEE transferred its rights and responsibilities to EERSF.
- National funds
EERSF has received investments by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank), Austrian government and private Bulgarian donors.
In its Annual Financial Statements for 2018 the EERSF reported 204 clients financed with BGN 62 million (€31.7 million) for the period 2006-2018.
In 2006, experts assessed that the support provided by the fund is insufficient to realise the whole energy efficiency potential that could be developed, however, they expressed an opinion that the programme provides an initial momentum for bigger sustainability projects and financial plans (Jelyazkov, 2006).
Experts in the field argue that for achieving better results in energy efficiency, the fund must apply interest-free funding schemes (Jelyazkov, 2006).