Нормативна база
19 Август 2013

Summary: Regulatory framework


Despite a large decrease, especially since 1997, Bulgaria’s economy is still characterised by a high level of primary energy consumption per unit of GDP.

In comparison to the EU-28, the Bulgarian national economy is 5.6 times more energy-intensive - 927.1 grammes of oil equivalent (goe)/euro GDP compared to 165.4 goe/euro GDP with regard to gross domestic energy consumption - and over 4 times more energy-intensive with regard to final energy consumption. The correlation between final energy consumption and gross domestic energy consumption in Bulgaria and in EU-28 is 48.7% and 64.4% respectively (2005). In Bulgaria the energy transformation losses account for more than half of the energy used, whilst in EU-28 such losses make up only one third.

Industry has the highest share of final energy consumption in Bulgaria (36%, excluding non-energy uses), mainly due to three energy- intensive sub-sectors: chemicals and petrochemicals, non-metallic minerals and iron/steel. These three branches account for almost 63% of industrial energy consumption and 23% of industrial GDP.

In parallel with the decrease in energy consumption, there has been a shift in the structure of the fuels consumed in the industrial sector: the use of district heating has decreased sharply since 1997, being replaced by electricity, natural gas and oil products.

Taking into account the European target of 20% energy efficiency improvement by 2020, the Bulgarian targets are more ambitious with the intention of closing the gap towards the EU-27. The sustainable economic growth observed in recent years has been accompanied by a trend towards reduced energy intensity, due to energy policy and restructuring of the national economy. In the period 1999–2007, GDP grew on average by 5.3%, while gross domestic energy consumption increased by 2.4% only and electricity consumption even decreased by 0.9%. The Bulgarian Energy Strategy forecasts 50% energy savings for 2020-2030, which implies increased energy efficiency for the Bulgarian economy and catching up with European standards.

I. Legislation summary

In 2004, the first Bulgarian law for energy efficiency was adopted. This law defined energy efficiency as a national priority. Since then the law has been adapted several times and nowadays it is fully harmonized with EU law. The following summary gives an overview on policies and actors that play a major role in the Bulgarian system to promote energy efficiency.

1. Law for Energy Efficiency (LEE) (in effect as of 14 November 2008)

This law regulates the implementation of the government policy for energy efficiency at the level of final consumption of energy. It is aimed at increasing the competitiveness of the Bulgarian economy.

2. The national strategy for energy efficiency (LEE – Art.7)

The national strategy for energy efficiency is meant to designate the priorities of the state policy and long-term goals for energy savings, in order to improve the competitiveness of the Bulgarian economy. The strategy also covers the national indicative goals and instruments to achieve these objectives. It gives directions for reaching the national indicative goals, as well as the mechanisms and incentives, and also summarizes the institutional, financial and legal possibilities.

The first National Energy Strategy was adopted in 2002 and was valid until 2010. Its main goals were to secure supply of energy, enhancing competitiveness of the economy, protecting the environment and mitigating climate change. The main priorities of the second strategy are sustainable development, competition and cooperative European markets, and energy security. In the new strategy, energy efficiency is indicated as an important way to achieve the overall goals of the Second National Energy Strategy.

3. National action plans (LEE - Art. 8.)

National action plans related to energy efficiency are elaborated on the basis of the national strategy. They consist of intermediate indicative and individual goals for energy savings, as well as stipulated activities and measures for raising the energy efficiency. The action plans also elaborate on sources for financing.

4. National indicative goals for energy savings (LEE - Art. 9).

The national indicative goals for energy savings are defined as a percentage of final energy consumption by end users according to a specific ordinance, which was published at the end of March 2009. The national indicative goals as they are defined in the action plans have been distributed as individual goals for energy savings between industrial installations.

5. Agency for Energy Efficiency (AEE)

The AEE carries out a controlling function in the cases stipulated by the law. It takes part in the elaboration of national action plans related to energy, and presents annual reports about the compliance with the national action plans. AEE also participates in the preparation of regulatory acts in the area of energy efficiency and assists in the development of training for energy efficiency.

6. Industrial energy audits (LEE-Art.33)

Industrial energy audits aim to determine the specific possibilities for reducing energy consumption in industry and to suggest measures for improving energy efficiency. The energy audits are obligatory for installations with an annual consumption of energy over 3,000 MWh.

7. Financial mechanisms (LEE Art.43)

The Law for Energy Efficiency establishes several financial mechanisms, among which are voluntary agreements, contracts with a guaranteed result and financing by the Bulgarian Energy Efficiency Fund.

II. The National Action Plans

Bulgaria has developed an action plan envisaging cost-effective and practical measures for improved energy efficiency at the end-user level. The first National Energy Efficiency Action Plan 2008-2010 included legal, financial and administrative measures to achieve an intermediate indicative target for energy savings of 3% by 2010. The second National Action Plan aims for 9% energy savings by 2016 in comparison to the final energy consumption average over the period 2000-2005.

Assuming an increase in final energy consumption by 2016 at a rate equal to GDP growth, namely 5.5% per year, the value of final energy consumption for the years 2010, 2013 and 2016 and the intermediate targets for energy saving are the following:


  • Final energy consumption assuming normal market development – 12,108 ktoe;
  • Indicative energy saving target - 3%, or 209 ktoe. For the Bulgarian industry, which is responsible for 23% of total energy consumption, the target is 48ktoe;
  • Final energy consumption after implementation of energy efficiency measures – 11,899 ktoe.


  • Final energy consumption assuming normal market development – 14,217 ktoe;
  • Indicative energy saving target - 6%, or 418 ktoe;
  • Final energy consumption after implementation of energy efficiency measures – 13,799 ktoe.


  • Final energy consumption assuming normal market development – 16,695 ktoe;
  • Indicative energy saving target - 9%, or 627 after implementation of energy efficiency measures – 16,068 ktoe.

The implementation of measures needed to achieve the indicative target requires significant financial resources to be mobilised, increased energy efficiency promotion by the state and the energy market to be further liberalised, especially on the supply side of energy services, as well as to develop public-private partnerships in the field of energy efficiency.

I. Long Term Agreements

A project called "Institutional support to the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy and Energy" for building up its capacity for managing and developing public-private partnerships for energy efficiency - long term agreements (LTA) with the government was financed by EVD and SenterNovem (now Agency NL), Netherlands. The goal of this project was to build up a scheme for financing the Bulgarian companies, especially SMEs, through long term agreements, in order to improve their energy efficiency. It focused primarily on SMEs in the chemical and metallurgical industries.
The main outcomes and conclusions from LTA projects were:

  1. The industry share in national final energy consumption decreased from about 45% in 1998 to about 38% in 2004, due to both industrial restructuring and energy efficiency improvements. The average annual decrease of energy intensity in the industrial sector during the period was about 3.2%.
  2. The industrial sectors with the highest energy consumption are metallurgy, chemical industry, food processing, glass, ceramics, and pulp and paper industries. 330 companies (with 352 sites) are large energy consumers in the sector, accounting for about 80% of final energy consumption in industry.
  3. Evaluating the existing potential for energy efficiency improvements; tangible energy efficiency indicators are more reliable than the monetary indicators.
  4. Bulgaria still has significant potential for energy efficiency improvements. According to expert evaluations, energy consumption per unit (related to physical output) is by 15–30% higher than the average of the EU-15 countries. Additional efforts are needed to improve energy efficiency.
  5. Due to investment difficulties, several good and financially feasible projects are not implemented.
  6. Energy efficiency conditions and capital availability differ by industrial sub-sector and individual plant.
  7. Many low cost energy efficiency measures have been implemented already, as a result of the sharp increase in energy prices. Nonetheless, formal energy management systems with detailed measurement and analysis of energy consumption data are not very common.
  8. It is necessary to decentralise energy efficiency skills and competences, so that they are readily available at the sites, where they are most needed. Specific energy efficiency work should be performed not only by specialised experts, but as much as this is possible, also by the operating staff of the respective plants.

II. Obligatory energy efficiency audits in Bulgaria

Obligatory measures to improve the energy performance of public buildings and optimizing the energy consumption of large energy consumers (enterprises producing goods and services with an annual energy consumption greater than 3,000 MWh) are included in the Bulgarian legislation since 2004. In order to facilitate the implementation of legislation, installations and buildings to be audited have been identified as well as human and technical resources necessary for the audit and certification of buildings and industrial installations provided. The audit needs to be performed at least every three years. The owner of the installation is obliged to start implementing the measures suggested by the energy audit within two years. Details for the energy audits will be determined by a specific ordinance, published in March 2009.

The audits of 35 SMEs per year are financed by the government, supported by the Bulgarian Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Credit Line (BEERECL) for the industry sector and by long-term energy savings agreements.

From 2009, the audits were mainly focused on enterprises from industrial sectors. Considerable progress was made. 102 sites in the country were subject to a detailed energy audit. 70 of the audited sites used funds from the national budget under the grant scheme for SME auditing for the promotion of energy saving technologies. 89.3% of all companies audited belong to the manufacturing sector.


EU Legislation

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