SEC Tools Pilot Communities


Smolyan Region

Map of Bulgaria.

There is a number of regional documents concerning environmental and energy issues in the Smolyan region. The most important documents: “Strategy of development of the Smolyan region – 2005-2015” and “Regional Plan for development of South Central Planning Region 2007-2013”. Realization of the project will contribute to fulfillment of the assumptions made in these documents.

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In Bulgaria every municipality is obliged to create and implement a municipal energy plan. In this respect Chepelare Municipality is one of the municipalities that fulfilled this requirement.

SEC Tools pilot actions in Chepelare

Sustainable Energy Action Plan

In relation to the existing planning process the pilot actions have focused on:

  • Extending the current heat plan for the Town of Chepelare.
  • Development of a new local planning guideline aiming at developing the current heat planning process, e.g. involving demand-side and utilisation of RES to a higher extent and putting more focus on the implementation of measures.
  • Identifying priorities for the future planning process.

Kindergarten before renovation.

On the basis of a biomass potential assessment study and feasibility studies for public and residential buildings a program for Energy Efficiency was developed and accepted by the Municipal Council in 2007.

Due to the location in the Rhodopi mountains 75% of the area is covered by forests. Furthermore there is a relatively high number of sunny days, in total 265 per year. In the light of these facts the main objectives of the energy planning is to substitute oil fuels with biomass fuels and utilise solar energy for hot tap water production, in addition to energy savings.

Local Energy Market

In relation to the current situation in the Municipality of Chepelare there is mostly a need to find ways of financing and implementing energy projects. The pilot actions have comprised:

  • Energy audits of public builidings.
  • Identifying financing options for energy projects.
  • Feasibility analysis about construction of a district heating plant.

Kindergarten after renovation.

Energy audits were performed in 11 buildings, including a school hostel, a high school, primary schools, office buildings, and a sports hall. It has been estimated that there is a potential to reduce the consumption in public buildings with about 50%.

There is currently no district heating system in Chepelare. The Municipality is therefore looking into the possibility of establishing a biomass fired heating plant to supply several public buildings in the Town of Chepelare, which are located close to each other.

Mobilising End-users

During the SEC Tools project various communications were held with end-users. This included energy management training seminars and meetings with hotel owners and SMEs (carpenters etc.) in Chepelare.

Hotel owners were presented with development options for energy savings and utilisation of local wood energy resources. A lot of hotels already use solar collectors for hot water production.

There is big interest from the wood-processing enterprises about using biomass heating in their enterprises during the winter.


- Context
- Status & potential
- Planning
- Instruments
- Action Plan
- Monitoring

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