Client: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the Bulgaria Government

Dates: 2011 - 2012, 2014 - 2017

Country of assignment: Bulgaria

Description of actual services provided:

The Energy Efficiency and Green Economy Programme is a joint initiative between the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism (MoEET) and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to promote sustainable energy solutions for SMEs. The objectives of the Programme are to:

  • Improve the efficiency and productivity of environmentally friendly technologies utilized by SMEs,
  • Reduce the energy intensity and adverse environmental impacts by promoting environmentally friendly, low-waste and energy saving production technologies

This new Programme was innovative because it combined EU Structural Funds grants with commercial bank lending in one process. The grant component of the Programme was provided by MoEET as the Managing Authority from the Operational Programme “Development of the Competitiveness of the Bulgarian Economy 2007-2013“ (OP Competitiveness). The loan component was managed by the EBRD and provided within the framework of the Bulgarian Energy Efficiency for Competitive Industry Finance Facility (BEECIFF). Under this Financing Facility, credit lines were provided to local commercial banks (Participating Banks) to on-lend to SMEs.


Project activities included:

  • Collecting best practice examples of the use of EU Structural Funds for energy efficiency grant schemes
  • Developing a programme structure including its management and monitoring and evaluation system
  • Drafting the Call for Proposals (CfP) and Guidelines for Applicants  
  • Developing the Project Cycle Designing criteria for the selection of Participating Banks
  • Preparing an Operation Manual and a Quality Assurance Manual for the use of all stakeholders of the Programme
  • Developing Handbook for Financing Sustainable Energy Investments  (for Participating Banks)
  • Drafting Terms of Reference for the Project Assistance Consultant
  • Drafting Term of Reference for the Verification Assistant Consultant
  • Preparing the List of Eligible Material and Equipment (LEME)
  • Developing Energy Efficiency and Energy Management Handbook
  • Developing an energy audit registry Developing a strategy to promote the Programme through marketing and awareness activities and marketing
  • Preparing and implementing the Launch Event
  • Developing a capacity building and institutional strengthening strategy in order to establish a sustainable model of operation between SME sector, energy auditors and local financial institutions by performing training courses for certified energy auditors and Participating Banks
  • Developing interactive web site with the integrated data base
  • Developing Monitoring System

Since 2012, the Finance Facility (Green Economy Programme) has been operated by the Bulgaria Government with the EU Structural Funds support.

In 2014-2017 Encon performed energy audits and prepared investment proposals for over 330 energy efficiency projects at industrial enterprises and agricultural entities, which were financed under this Finance Facility.