The FINANCIAL — The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a €10 million loan complemented by technical assistance to Piraeus Bank Bulgaria (PBB).
The loan is provided under the new extension of the Residential Energy Efficiency Credit Line (REECL), a framework established by the EBRD in 2005. PBB will use the funds to finance energy efficiency investments in privately owned residential buildings in Bulgaria.
The Kozloduy International Decommissioning Support Fund is supporting the programme by financing technical assistance and investment incentives for end-users.
This investment aligns with the EBRD’s strategic Sustainable Resource Initiative, which calls for the development of sustainable energy financing and the promotion of energy efficiency improvements, according to EBRD.
Larisa Manastirli, EBRD Director, Bulgaria, said: “The EBRD is delighted to extend this €10 million loan to Piraeus Bank Bulgaria to continue our partnership in making energy efficiency financing available to Bulgarian households and sharing expertise with them. Over the last 10 years a significant volume of EBRD commercial funding, coupled with technical assistance and grants, has reached small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the wider population through the financial sector. This has helped to build the market for sustainable energy and encourage energy-saving habits among consumers. We are happy to continue helping the residential sector to address its needs and increase energy efficiency refurbishments, and we are working with Piraeus Bank Bulgaria to ensure a wider and more efficient outreach to Bulgarian households.”
Emil Angelov, Deputy CEO of PBB, commented: “Piraeus Bank Bulgaria and the EBRD have a long-term partnership in programmes that support energy efficiency and sustainable development. Our recent years of cooperation have confirmed our support and educational efforts, not only for businesses, but also for individuals so they can reduce their main residential expense, namely, the cost of their energy consumption. We are proud to continue our work with the EBRD in the REECL programme. We believe that the extended partnership will enable us to better meet the needs of our customers through innovative solutions.”
Bulgaria’s economy continues to have the highest energy intensity in the European Union (EU). Although the household sector’s share of overall energy consumption is in line with the EU average (around 25 per cent), a significant share of buildings in Bulgaria are not heated to optimal temperatures. As Bulgaria works to align its legislation with EU standards, improving energy efficiency is a key element of its energy policy.
Piraeus Bank Bulgaria, part of Piraeus Bank S.A., Greece, is a universal bank that provides corporate, retail and investment banking services.
The EBRD is one of the largest institutional investors in Bulgaria. To date, the Bank has invested over €3.3 billion in more than 220 projects in the country. The EBRD’s current strategy in Bulgaria focuses on strengthening financial sector intermediation through targeted investments and improved governance; enhancing the competitiveness of companies, including SMEs, through improved efficiency, governance and innovation; and narrowing the infrastructure gap through commercialisation and support for reforms.