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EBRD and CIBANK help Bulgarian households cut energy bills

By EBRD  Press Office

The EBRD is continuing to support energy efficiency improvements in Bulgaria’s residential sector with a €5 million loan to CIBANK for on-lending to individuals and associations of apartment owners.

The financing is part of the Bank’s Residential Energy Efficiency Credit Line (REECL) Framework and is the first EBRD cooperation with CIBANK, which is wholly-owned by the Belgium-based KBC Bank.

The proceeds of the EBRD loan will be used to finance investments in sustainable energy, undertaken by Bulgarian households, such as thermal insulation of walls, installation of energy efficient windows, boilers and central heating systems, among other modern energy saving techniques.

The project will lead to greater energy savings and carbon reduction in Bulgaria’s residential sector, which will help households to rationalise their energy consumption and cut bills.  It will also contribute to the implementation of the European Directive on energy performance of buildings in Bulgaria, thus helping the Bulgarian government meet targets on buildings energy efficiency.

The EBRD credit line will be complemented by grant funding from the Kozloduy International Decommissioning and Support Fund (KIDSF). The technical assistance support includes legal advice, energy performance assessment and development of conceptual design, and will help address the whole-building retrofits.

“The EBRD is pleased to launch its cooperation with CIBANK in Bulgaria through this new financing for energy efficiency improvements. This credit line will help raise the comfort standards in Bulgarian homes, and supports CIBank’s strategy to expand its services in retail banking.  Perhaps most important, the latest round of residential energy efficiency credits are focusing more than ever on multi-family “panel” buildings.  This is one area which has been neglected in most energy efficiency lending initiatives to date.” said Daniel Berg, Director, Bulgaria.

“CIBANK has an established position in the market of retail banking products, and the provision of favourable loans for residential energy efficiency will give us the opportunity to apply an integrated approach in servicing this client segment,” said Peter Andronov, CEO of CIBANK and Country Manager for KBC in Bulgaria. “As part of KBC Group, CIBANK is aiming at offering products and services that are environmentally sustainable, and the Credit Line with EBRD is part of this policy,” he added.

REECL Framework was launched in 2005 to address energy wastage in Bulgaria’s residential sector and has financed around 30,000 small-scale residential energy efficiency projects in six years. Building on the success already achieved, in 2011 the framework was extended by an additional €40 million.

Since the beginning of the EBRD’s operations in Bulgaria, the Bank has invested over €2.5 billion in various sectors of the country’s economy, mobilising additional investment in excess of €5.7 billion.

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