EcoEnergy Municipal Energy Efficiency Network
Review of activities during the period 1997 - 2003
The Bulgarian Municipal Energy Efficiency Network
Bulgarian municipalities spend approximately 4-8% of their annual budgets for fuel and energy costs. Compared with the respective expenditure of municipalities in the developed European states the share of these costs is significantly higher. This is due to both the unsatisfactory state of repair of the buildings and in-house systems, and the obsolete and poorly maintained technical facilities and equipment. Municipal decision-makers are constantly seeking for ways and means to alleviate the burden of energy costs. These efforts of local authorities, however, stumble upon a number of regulatory, financial and technical barriers, which no municipality may overcome if acting in isolation.
In their attempt to unite their efforts and increase the effectiveness of their actions, in February 1997 23 Bulgarian municipalities founded a voluntary non-formal association under the name Municipal Energy Efficiency Network EcoEnergy. EcoEnergy is operating on the basis of Rules of Procedure, Action Programme (1997-2002) and Plan of Work for the current year, approved by the General Assembly of the Association. The activities of the Network are coordinated by a Board of Directors, elected for a one-year term-of office.
Objectives, tasks and activities
EcoEnergy has three major objectives:
Establishment of municipal policy for efficient use of energy resources as a major component of the sustainable development policy;
Diminishing of the burden of fuel and energy costs on municipal budgets;
Diminishing of fuel and energy costs of energy end-users in municipalities.
EcoEnergy works for achievement of its objectives by implementing the following major activities:
Exchange of information and experience on the opportunities for more efficient energy use in municipalities;
Expert technical and methodological assistance on initiation, working out, procurement of financing and implementation of energy efficiency projects;
Training and skills upgrading of local management and technical personnel in the field of energy planning and management ;
Implementation of international contacts with municipalities and sister-organizations in other countries and with financing institutions. The interaction among Network member-municipalities is performed with the help of the Secretariat.
One of the strategic objectives of EcoEnergy is to create conditions for self-financing of the Association upon completion of the project currently providing funding for its activities. To this end, a Business Plan for development of the Network was drafted in 1999. According to this plan, in 2004 the network was registered as a non-profit association (legal entity). This created conditions for:
Self-financing of Network activities based on future-oriented planning of revenue and costs in compliance with an approved development strategy;
Acquirement of its own material stock and intellectual property, necessary for implementation of the major functions of the association;
Broader public recognition of the Network in the country and abroad as a potential party under local and international energy efficiency programmes and projects.
In 2004 a tripartite agreement was signed between the Network the National Association of Municipalities in Bulgaria and the state Energy Efficiency Agency for cooperation and joint activities.
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