Homeowners will be able to benefit from professional support for the preparation of remediation projects in the second stage of the Recovery Plan procedure. Currently, owners are expected to have almost professional knowledge in order to successfully handle this process. But this will happen with the 20% co-financing requirement, when really the owners will be much more seriously involved in the process. This became clear at a discussion with condominium representatives "Energy-efficient renovation of multi-family residential buildings. The tasks of the condominium - mission (not) possible". The event was organized by the "Let's renew Europe" coalition with the support of the Center for Energy Efficiency Sofia and "EnEfect".
If you have not already prepared an energy passport and an energy survey, it will be very difficult to find a company that will prepare the necessary documents by the end of May in order to have a chance to be included in the first stage of the Recovery Plan procedure to receive 100% funding. The second stage of the procedure will begin in June and continue until the end of the year. The municipality is a mandatory partner of the condominium. The requirements for the first stage are to have a registered Association of Owners, to have a technical survey and passport prepared, as well as an energy survey and certificate prepared. At the second stage, there will be a requirement to provide 20% co-financing. In the second stage for co-financing, much more resources will be required from the side of the owners to be able to cope with the organization, financial resources will be required, Tsveta Nanyova, executive director of a Bulgarian-Austrian consulting company, announced during the meeting. is part of the new Center for Energy Efficiency Sofia. At the Center for Energy Efficiency Sofia, citizens can receive free consulting assistance every day from 12:30 to 7:30 p.m. for the necessary documents they need to prepare and general information for participating in the procedure.
Right now you have two approaches, someone sacrifices himself for the common good or seek professional help
As Nanyova commented, there are two approaches for citizens, either to learn by themselves, or to take advantage of professional services. The assurance of the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works is that the possibility will be included in the projects and there will be separate funding for the use of professional assistance in the application. Exactly how this will happen is still not clear enough. The second stage application guidelines are expected to be presented in May.
What are the new commitments of the owners to the national program?
However, owners now under the Recovery Plan remediation program have new responsibilities compared to the national program of several years ago.
Owners must have professional knowledge to be able to successfully handle this process as it is common practice for someone to sacrifice for the collective, and people like us do this by virtue of their profession, Nanyova said. In fact, the owners have to implement the association legally, deal with those who do not want to join or with owners who do not live and whose properties are part of the ideal parts. Not only that, but they should also have the technical competence to choose the right companies and not allow themselves to be cheated.
We already have reports of ill-intentioned companies that abuse and offer to prepare these documents quickly and cheaply, but the documentation will not be of high quality, commented Nanyova. For a few hundred BGN, people risk being cheated, she emphasized. Let them at least make the least effort to check with what activity the company is registered with the Registration Agency. The MRRB has a list of companies that can prepare technical passports and surveys.
A technical passport is made by 7 legally qualified designers, and the energy survey company must be registered with the Agency for Sustainable Energy Development.
The good implementation of the project depends on the quality of the passport and the survey experts do not advise to avoid it
This doesn't mean that you can't trust other companies, but you should have one thing in mind as to how much a building inspection company can do energy efficiency surveys. However, based on this documentation, the entire project will be implemented subsequently, Nanyova said. The success of the application for the respective condominium depends on the quality of these documents. To all the problems is added the problem with co-financing. Therefore, one more difference should become clear. If there is now a one-stop service where free information is obtained, which is also provided by Energy Efficiency Centers, the One stop shop service is a store where citizens will be able to choose between different paid services such as proposals for energy audits, passport, complete or single service. If in the first stage it is possible to get by without a significant need for these services, in the second stage it will be much more difficult, Nanyova said.
If there are no financial mechanisms, people will be relied upon to provide the remediation or energy renovation with their own funds. They will become a co-investor. According to Nanyova, it is better to pay professionals that people will choose for themselves than to try to learn everything that professionals know in order to go through this procedure once.
However, she outlined the positive changes in the Condominium Management Act. They make it easier to make a decision, but unfortunately there are no penalties when some owners do not follow the general decisions.
There are still open questions such as what happens if we are not approved? What will happen in the second stage with the provision of 20% co-financing. How will the issue be resolved if there are people who do not have their own funds or cannot use credit, how will it be resolved. It turns out that we can trade one injustice for another. If until now 100% was given to everyone regardless of whether they can afford it or not, now we will give 80% only to those who have and can provide 20%, commented the specialist.
It is very important how control over the implementation of the project will be ensured, because there must already be an achievement of energy efficiency class B and a reduction in emissions. If we can hold meetings outside of working hours, we cannot provide control of the repair works outside of working hours.
One of the most common problems people have is related to the lack of assistance from the municipality
At the discussion, a wide range of issues were discussed, which concerned representatives of condominiums. For example, what happens if there is no access to the owner of some of the apartments. An energy efficiency assessment is made for the entire building, thermal insulation is a common part, the rest cover the costs for this apartment as well. Windows may not change, but thermal insulation is a common element. Practice shows that municipal administrations act differently. But in general, one of the conclusions is that, especially in Sofia, there are more examples of reluctance of the regional municipal administrations to assist the owners. The fact that if 50 blocks have been renovated in Sofia, over 160 have been renovated in Blagoevgrad speaks for this.
Individual practices are also evident in cases where there are municipal apartments in the blocks. According to the experts, the municipality has no problem being a member of the association with its share of ideal parts, but it is a matter of decision.
If the block contains shops or other flats that are used for commercial activity, the owners must sign a model declaration, which can be found in the application guidelines, that they have not received state aid of up to €200,000 in the previous three years. Often, an electricity distribution company that has a substation must also be part of the association. If the municipal properties or the electricity distribution company do not join, the owners receive a lower number of points because the association was created with a smaller share of common shares.
Currently, once the documents are ready, they must be submitted to the municipality by May 10. The municipality must submit the project to the ISUN system by the end of May. Quantitative value accounts are prepared by the municipality, but many municipalities require them from the owners. But owners should be careful not to put a ceiling on the costs, because this is the amount that will be subject to reimbursement up to 6.28 per sq. m of GLA. But many municipalities bet the reference value, which again reduces the chance of getting the required number of points, the experts commented. The six criteria are made in such a way that a ratio of savings and emissions is taken into account, if a reference value is bet, you will get a minimum number of points. The reference value is a maximum value and will not correspond to the actual situation. Carbon dioxide is calculated by the software after an energy survey is done
RES measures can be included in the energy survey, but it usually makes sense for large buildings with more total costs, otherwise the investment does not make economic sense. You can have RES at the expense of energy efficiency measures, and if emissions and efficiency results are not met, you can get money back.
The benefits of comprehensive renewal are incomparably greater than all the difficulties, but administrations must provide not only administrative assistance but also qualified expert assistance so that the maximum number of people can benefit from these opportunities whether for 100% grant or now only 80% support, emphasized Dragomir Tsanev, executive director of the Center for Energy Efficiency "EnEfect".