EBRD energy efficiency credit line brings significant energy savings to Bulgaria

Insulated windows to improve energy efficiency in Bulgaria

The EBRD Residential Energy Efficiency Credit Line (REECL) finances small-scale residential energy efficiency projects in Bulgaria. Nearly 75,000 people have already benefited from energy-saving measures like replacing windows and insulating walls and roofs.

EBRD credit line finances thousands of projects

Four years since it was set up, the EBRD Residential Energy Efficiency Credit Line (REECL) has financed more than 27,000 small-scale residential energy efficiency projects in Bulgaria. These have resulted in electricity savings equivalent to 205,000 MWh per year.

That is comparable to the energy required to drive a passenger car 308 million kilometres, or to put it another way, from Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, to the sun and back. The reduction in CO2 emissions is estimated at nearly 300,000 tonnes per year, which is equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed annually by a forest of some 11 million trees – or one-and-a-half trees for every Bulgarian citizen.

Small measures produce big savings

Energy-saving measures funded by the credit line include replacing windows; insulating outdoor walls and roofs; and installing heat pumps, solar thermal collectors and high-efficiency gas and biomass boilers. Nearly 75,000 people have benefited from the improvements and the average saving in electricity spending is expected to be €480 per year per project – almost twice the average monthly salary in Bulgaria.

The credit line has so far committed €45.5 million out of a total €50 million in available funding and has disbursed more than €41.9 million. The facility received €14.6 million from the Kozloduy International Decommissioning Support Fund.

Helping Bulgaria through difficult times

Despite the effects of the economic downturn on the Bulgarian financial sector, take-up of the credit line continued to be strong during July and August of 2009. As well as cutting household fuel bills, making homes more comfortable and reducing Bulgaria’s dependency on energy imports, the credit line has had a significant economic impact by providing business for local suppliers and retailers at a difficult time.