Bulgaria needs a lot of money for prefab rehab

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Bulgaria needs a lot of money for prefab rehab BULGARIA needs large amounts of money to be able to rehabilitate hundreds of thousands of prefabricated flats to realise energy efficiency requirements, experts said on
A total of 4.1 billion leva has to be invested in the rehabilitation of 684 683 flats in the period 2006-2020, according to the strategy for funding insulation of buildings to achieve energy efficiency, Energy Efficiency Agency’s (EEA) Valentin Dimitrov told the Fourth National Conference of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Sources, held in Sofia.
Concrete prefab blocks of flats are the programme’s priority and because of this, 362 792 prefabricated building will have to be rehabilitated.
The state will support directly the prefabricated dwellings’ owners by providing a direct subsidy of 20 per cent of the total value of the renovation. The owners of flats have to establish and register a legal entity representing the jointly owned blocks of flats.
The invested funds will be retuned by the reduction of energy costs – between 35 and 40 per cent – and by exemption of taxes on real estates for a certain period of time.
In both the European Union and Bulgaria, buildings consume the biggest share of energy, more than 40 per cent, followed by the transport and industry sector, the report adds.
About two million Bulgarians live in 787 096 prefabricated flats (40 per cent of all housing), 96 per cent of which are privately owned. The total area of prefabricated dwellings stands at 50 000 000 sq m.
In early September, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced the extension of 30.1 million euro to four Bulgarian banks, which will help households improve energy efficiency.
Under the agreement, DSK Bank and Raiffeisen Bank Bulgaria (RBB) received 10 million euro each and United Bulgarian Bank (UBB) and Postbank got five million euro each.
Under the credit mechanism, one household will be given one credit for one house only, so that a higher number of households can apply under the programme.
The programme is worth 50 million euro and will be put into effect by the end of 2006. If it proves efficient, its term and credit resources may be extended.
Raiffeisen Bank Bulgaria (RBB) said on November 4 it paid the first energy allowances within the energy efficiency programme.
At this stage it is the only bank with the energy efficiency loan terms. The bank extends energy efficiency loans in amounts ranging from 1 000 to 15 000 leva. The repayment term is from one to five years. An optional grace period of between six and 12 months is also available. The interest rate is 11 per cent for loans in leva and 10 per cent for loans in euro.
Collateral on all loans of up to 7000 leva can be provided in promissory notes. Two guarantors are needed for energy efficiency loans of over 7000 leva, RBB says.
The EBRD financing is added to a total of 655 million leva (335 million euro) that will be spent to improve the energy efficiency of homes in Bulgaria until 2020. This occurs under a strategy approved by the previous government on July 14.
Direct government subsidies for the rehabilitation of buildings will increase over the next 15 years. Priority will be given to residential multi-unit buildings made of prefabricated concrete slabs and to state and municipal buildings with energy efficiency characteristics poorer than the EU average.
In another development on November 3, Parliament ratified an agreement between Bulgaria and Austria, under which the Austrian federal finance ministry would provide a 1 500 000-euro grant for initial capital of the Bulgarian Energy Efficiency Fund, aimed at credit guarantees and investment financing.