EnEffect Center for Energy Efficiency: 40 % of Bulgarians Struggle to Pay Their Energy Bills

October 4 (BTA) - The Executive Director of the EnEffect
Center for Energy Efficiency, Dragomir Tsanev, said at a BTA
press conference on Friday that nearly 40 per cent of Bulgarians
 are not able to keep their homes comfortably warm in the

Tsanev presented a report, titled "Energy poverty in the wake of
 local elections: What the state and municipalities can do to
solve the problem of high heating bills". In the report,
EnEffect cited data from the EU Energy Poverty Observatory, a
mechanism maintained by the European Commission and based on
Eurostat data.

Data show that 39.2 per cent of the Bulgarian population is not
able  maintain a comfortable level of heating in their homes in
the winter, which in turn affects their health. This is the
highest percentage in the EU. About 11 percent of the EU's
population (54 million Europeans) are affected by energy

Bulgaria is at the top of EU countries in regards to not being
able to maintain comfortably cool temperatures in the summer as
well, added Tsanev. He added that Bulgaria ranks second when it
comes to late payments for energy bills. People who are
struggling with their energy bills move on to the cheapest and
most polluting sources of heating. According to Tsanev, the
state contributes to this with its targeted aid for heating.
"The government aid is used to buy low quality firewood and
coal," he pointed out.

European Climate Foundation associate Julian Popov added that
half of the Bulgarian population struggles to pay their bills.
"Bulgaria is at the bottom of Europe in terms of energy
poverty," said Popov.

According to EnEffect, the solution that can lead to sustainable
 long-term effects is energy-efficient renovation and
maintenance of residential buildings. This will directly reduce
energy costs and the need for energy aids. It will also limit
air pollution. Dragomir Tsanev argued that municipalities have a
 leading role in the implementation of state and local policies
in this area. RY/DT

Source: Sofia