The main focus of the workshop was to provide insight into the Covenant of Mayors initiative and to propose solutions for its smooth implementation within the Bulgarian national, regional and local context.
The background, framework and methodology of the Covenant of Mayors were explained in detail. Furthermore, the role of local energy actors was highlighted as an important factor in the achievement of the Covenant goals: at least 20% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020.
The participants – around 30 – came from regional and local energy agencies, energy departments of cities, national and regional associations of local authorities and universities.
The workshop focused on the development and financing of Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs) in Bulgaria and covered in particular:
The discussion focused mainly on the technical and financing challenges faced by Bulgarian cities and regions and different approaches were analysed. The participants raised several technical questions to the representative of the Joint Research Centre that supports the implementation of the Covenant (e.g., calculation of CO2 emissions, quantification of soft measures, monitoring process, etc.). They exchanged experiences on how to finance their sustainable energy projects from EU, national and regional funds. The key role of energy agencies in delivering concrete actions was addressed, while the need for municipal energy managers was highlighted.
“For me it was a very useful and in-depth presentation of the CoM initiative. Thank you for providing us with this opportunity!”
Tzvetoslava Tzoneva, Expert, Black Sea Regional Energy Centre
"This workshop has been very useful for me as a municipal representative. Thank you for the information and invitation.”
Hristina Hristova, Senior Expert, Pleven Municipality
The representatives of Energy Cities and the Joint Research Centre presented the CoM initiative, baseline emissions inventory and development of SEAPs under the Covenant of Mayors initiative.
The workshop included presentations on municipal energy efficiency plans and the management of energy efficiency in Bulgarian municipalities, presented by the representative of the State Energy Efficiency Agency (SEEA), Tzvetomira Kulevska. According to Bulgarian Energy Efficiency Law, every municipality should present to the SEEA an annual energy efficiency plan and appoint an energy manager.
The Executive Director of EcoEnergy and EnEffect arch., Zdravko Genchev, made an insightful and informative presentation concerning the new instruments for sustainable planning – the Common Framework Methodology for Municipal Energy Planning (an instrument of the CoM) and the Capacity Building for Energy Efficiency in Buildings.
Todor Tonev, an energy expert from the Union of the Bulgarian Black Sea Local Authorities (UBBSLA), presented some concrete examples and gave advice about energy planning at local level and the fulfilment of the CoM objectives.
The financing session featured a presentation from the Executive Director of the Bulgarian Energy Efficiency Fund (BEEF), Dimitar Dukov. He presented various financial instruments for the implementation of the Municipal Energy Programmes.
In addition to the presentations, the participants benefited from a fruitful discussion. The discussion raised many interesting issues, including: the need for trained local specialists from Supporting Structures to help municipalities with the development and implementation of SEAPs; more interactive approaches to presenting information; the need for concrete examples of how to best address the difficulties most often encountered during the development of SEAPs and the completion of the SEAP template; more transparency about the types of measures and their value, etc.
The participants had the possibility to exchange their experiences concerning the implementation of the CoM initiative with other Bulgarian municipalities, energy agencies, national experts and public administrations. This helped to contribute to the goal of finding solutions for a smooth implementation of the initiative within the national and regional context in Bulgaria.
The workshop was the first step in the creation of a “Covenant national platform” in Bulgaria. Such a platform is intended to facilitate cooperation among local authorities and organisations that have the potential to support each other in the achievement of their Covenant objectives.
Zdravko Genchev - EnEffect Sofia, Michele Canova - JRC of the European Commission
Zdravko Genchev, Frédéric Boyer - EnergyCities, Stefanos Karterakis - ManagEnergy
Participants from municipalities across the country, state, local and regional energy agencies, municipal associations and consulting companies