Rehabilitation of single-family buildings will be available for all municipalities under the "Regional Development" Program 2021-2027

Until the end of next year, single-family residential buildings in the 10 largest municipalities can also apply for rehabilitation under the Operational Program "Regions in Growth" 2014-2020, but the measure is financed with a financial instrument

Energy / Analysis / Interview , Bulgaria
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Raya Lecheva

Rehabilitation of single-family houses will be available for all municipalities under the "Regional Development" Program 2021-2027, it became clear during the hearing of the Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Arch. Ivan Shishkov during a meeting of the Committee on Energy in the National Assembly.

Single-family residential buildings in all 265 municipalities of the country will be able to apply for financing for energy efficiency under the 2021-2027 Regional Development Program, announced Deputy Minister Desislava Georgieva, who also participated in the meeting. She pointed out that the details of the measure are currently being developed, which will depend on the integrated territorial strategies of the municipalities in the urban development priority of large and small municipalities. The program has been submitted for approval by the European Commission. Until the end of next year, single-family residential buildings in the 10 largest municipalities can also apply for rehabilitation under the Operational Program "Growing Regions" 2014-2020, but the measure is financed with a financial instrument, commented Georgieva. It became clear that municipalities are most likely to drive the process because they have the largest inventory of remediation programs. However, deputies insisted that the municipalities not do the renovation of the single-family houses and proposed the introduction of something like a voucher scheme, where people choose a contractor, and then the funds are paid.

At the moment, the emphasis is on multi-family residential buildings, because they have a larger built-up area and can achieve greater savings, and the goal is to achieve a greater effect, which cannot be done with small buildings, but this measure will have greater social effect, emphasized arch. Shishkov.

When the energy efficiency measures in the Recovery and Sustainability Plan were presented, it became clear that the large renovation program of BGN 1.4 billion will not include single-family buildings. We are talking about one million buildings or half of the building stock in the country. That's why the interest when finally a wider circle of people will be able to get involved is more and more important. In practice, half of the building stock remains outside the board, currently applications are being made under the "Regions in Growth" program, but it is possible to renovate only buildings in the 10 largest municipalities in Bulgaria. According to Georgieva, with the new program, all more active municipalities will be able to participate.

Within two weeks, the program for renovating the multi-family buildings will be launched, Arch. Ivan Shishkov. We have final meetings with the European Commission and summarize the results of the received opinions during the public discussion, he added.

Arch. Shishkov noted that before citizens start submitting their documents for remediation, changes have been made to the Ordinance on the technical requirements for the energy performance of buildings, which are expected to be promulgated in the State Gazette by the end of the week.

"The program under the Recovery and Resilience Plan is new, it has different criteria and specifics required by the European Commission. Part of the documents and the conducted surveys can be used, but the certificates for energy characteristics must be updated according to the current conditions in order to be up-to-date", pointed out arch. Shishkov.

To the question, can the second stage of the program, for which after March 31, 2023, the owners will have to pay an additional 20% as a deductible for the renovation of the blocks, the costs be covered by the program, and for the participation of citizens, the costs be considered technical passport and energy survey, Minister Shishkov replied that this does not depend on the caretaker government, as it cannot redistribute funds under European programs. The minister reminded that the official cabinet managed to return the implementation of the investments in the municipalities that have experience with the previous programs. "If the municipalities and owners are active enough, I expect the program to be implemented very quickly. The local authorities have experience, and the citizens have a great desire, which will save a lot of time," he added.

Minister Shishkov also said that most likely changes will be imposed in the Law on Territorial Planning regarding the construction of photovoltaic systems on the roofs and facades of buildings. He reminded that a building permit is not required for capacities up to 10 kilowatt hours. For larger capacities, however, a balanced solution will have to be sought, because some control regime must be guaranteed, as well as requirements for the companies. According to him, the lack of construction documentation could cause problems in the future. In fact, it is logical that the construction of RES in single-family buildings does not require a building permit, because the owner himself is responsible for the energy security of his home.

When asked whether there will be enough companies to do the energy surveys to meet the great interest and whether there will not be many willing, few companies, Arch. Shishkov said that this is a matter of market principle.

An interesting case is happening in Burgas, where the municipality finances energy audits of over 1,000 buildings, does it have the right to do so, so that other municipalities can follow its example, parliamentarians asked.

We have not limited the partnership of the condominium with the municipality, we consider it permissible, at the moment there is certainly a refund when the project is approved, but to what extent this complies with the Law on Public Finances we cannot judge, it became clear from the words of a deputy - Minister Georgieva.

During the hearing of the regional minister in the parliament, it also became clear that saved electricity per year is about 1 million megawatt hours, or more precisely, as the minister said, 975,000 megawatt hours from these 2,000 renovated blocks under the National Program for Renovating the Multifamily Housing Fund.

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