New Energy Efficiency Act

Bulgarian parliament adopted a new Energy Efficiency Act on 30 April 2015 implementing the provisions of EU Directive 2012/27/EC on the energy efficiency and introducing new measures for increase of the energy efficiency for the purpose of achieving the national targets for energy efficiency

New measures for increase of energy efficiency

 In order to sustain the achieving of the national targets for energy efficiency the new law introduces a system of obligations for energy savings, which should ensure the achieving of the common cumulative target for energy saving within the final energy consumption by 31 December 2020. The law determines the range of persons, who shall be obliged to follow annual individual goals in order to achieve energy savings:

  1. End suppliers and licensed electricity traders selling more than 20 GWh per year to the end consumers;
  2. Heating distribution enterprises and heating suppliers selling more than 20 GWh per year to the end consumers;
  3. End suppliers and gas traders selling more than 1 million cubic meters per year to the end consumers;
  4. Liquid oil traders selling more than 6.5 tons of liquid oils per year except for oils used for transport needs;
  5. Solid fuel traders selling more than 13 000 tons of fuel per year.

The measures for energy savings, the methods for proving the achieved savings, the requirements and methods for assessment and confirmation of such savings shall be specified in special ordinances.

The market participants who are obliged to achieve annual individual goals for energy savings may choose among different options, including:

Offering energy effective services at competitive prices through a supplier of energy efficient services, and/or

  • Making cash contributions to “Energy Efficiency and Renewable Sources” Fund or to other financial intermediaries for financing activities and measures for energy efficiency. The contributions shall be at the amount equal to the investments necessary for achieving the individual goals of the respective person, and/or
  • Entering into agreements with suppliers of energy efficient services or with other third parties for transferring certificates for energy savings.

In the event that a person does not reach its individual goal or does not pay its due contribution in the Find, the law provides severe sanctions that may be imposed – a fine (for physical persons) between BGN 1000 and BGN 5000 or a sanction (for legal entities) between BGN 5000 and BGN 500 000.

Obligations for construction investors remain in effect

Each investment project for construction of a new building, or reconstruction, general renewal or material repair of an existing building that changes its energy characteristics shall comply with the energy efficiency requirements.

The assignor (e.g. owner) of a new building is obliged to obtain a certificate for energy efficiency prior to entering into exploitation. A copy of the certificate for the building should be presented to the owners of individual units within the building.

A certificate for energy efficiency shall not be required for: religious temples, temporary buildings with scheduled use of up to two years, farm buildings used for agricultural needs, production buildings and parts of buildings used for production needs, residential buildings used for up to four months per year or as an alternative residence and buildings having built-up area of up to 50 square meters.

The performance of Assignor’s obligation concerning the obtaining of the abovementioned certificate is guaranteed by a fine between BGN 1000 and BGN 10 000 or a sanction between BGN 5000 and BGN 50 000.

Certification of existing buildings

The buildings which have been commissioned prior to the entering into force of the law can also be certificated for energy efficiency purposes.

The certificate has a term of validity of 10 years. Following its expiration, the owner is obliged to extend it The certificate for energy efficiency should be updated in case of reparatory works leading to change in building’s energy characteristics. In case of breach of the above requirements, a fine in the range of BGN 1000 – BGN 3000 or a sanction in the range of BGN 5000 – BGN 10 000 may be imposed on the owner.

Existing buildings designated for public services having a built-up area exceeding 500 square meters (as of 9 June 2015 buildings with built-up area exceeding 250 square meters) are subject of mandatory examination for energy efficiency. Their owners are obliged to obtain certificate for energy characteristics not earlier than three and not later than six years following their commissioning. Breach in that obligation may lead to imposing a fine in the range of BGN 10 000 – BGN 30 000 or a sanction in the range of BGN 50 000 – BGN 100 000.

Heating installations based on water – heating boilers and air conditioning installation are also subject to obligatory periodical inspections.

Obligatory energy efficiency inspections

The following enterprises shall also be subject to regular and obligatory energy efficiency inspections performed in every four years. Those are:

Production enterprises except for small and medium enterprises as defined by the Small and Medium Enterprises Act

  1. Service providing enterprises except for small and medium enterprises as defined by the Small and Medium Enterprises Act
  2. Production systems having annual energy consumption of over 3000 MWh;
  3. Systems for external lighting in residential areas having population of over 20 000 residents.

The sanction provided for non- fulfilment of the above obligation is at the amount between BGN 10 000 and BGN 30 000 for physical persons and between BGN 50 000 and BGN 100 000 for legal entities.