Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the COVID-19 crisis, the war in Ukraine, rising inflation, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.
Factsheet for measure BG-2015-20/2710 – measures in Bulgaria
|Country||Bulgaria , applies nationwide|
|Time period||Open ended, started on 15 May 2015|
|Context||Green Transition, Restructuring Support Instruments|
|Type||Legislations or other statutory regulations|
Supporting businesses to stay afloat
– Access to finance
|Author||Ekaterina Markova (IPS-Bas) and Eurofound|
|Measure added||23 June 2022 (updated 04 November 2022)|
The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Sources Fund (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.
The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Sources Fund (EERSF) activities are the following:
The fund provides investments to improve energy efficiency in industrial processes through the following activities:
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%. Beneficiaries are municipalities, corporate clients and individuals. Fixed annual interest rate is 4% - 7%. Financing amount is BGN 27,000 - BGN 800,000 - BGN 2,700,000 (depending on the beneficiaries) for a maximum pay out period up to 7 years. 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. The applying projects 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%. 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. EERSF has received investments by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank), Austrian government and private Bulgarian donors.
In 2018 Rezalta Bulgaria received a loan of BGN 93,834 (approx. €47,000) for utilization of waste heat from refrigerated warehouses and replacement of refrigeration equipment, which has been carried out by 'Ravella'. The training hall of the Winter Sports Palace was renovated with an investment amounting to BGN 1.15 million (nearly €588,000), most of which through an ESCO contract with EERSF.
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.
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. According to the financial report for 2021, because of the economic crisis due to Covid-19, the overall financial assets (loan receivables) of the fund slightly decreased, and the free cash assets - increased.
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).
|Does not apply to workers||Applies to all businesses||Does not apply to citizens|
Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:
|Trade unions||Employers' organisations|
|Form||Not applicable||Not applicable|
Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:
Eurofound (2022), Energy Efficiency and Renewable Sources Fund, measure BG-2015-20/2710 (measures in Bulgaria), EU PolicyWatch, Dublin, https://static.eurofound.europa.eu/covid19db/cases/BG-2015-20_2710.html
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Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process.