Frequently Asked Questions
What was the object of the REECL Programme?
The REECL Programme was designed to provide loans to Individuals, Association of Apartment Owners or Service Providers (Housing Management Companies, Energy Service Companies, Developers and Construction Companies) across Bulgaria to save energy and reduce their energy bills by installing new or replacing existing inefficient equipment and appliances with more energy efficient kit meeting the eligibility criteria of the REECL Programme at existing residential buildings or buildings in construction that would be duly completed and registered with the competent authority not later than 31 December 2018.
Who was the sponsor of the REECL Programme?
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Commission and the Bulgarian Ministry of Energy had set up the REECL facility, in co-operation with Bulgarian commercial banks, to help Bulgarian households upgrade their houses and/or flats.
What residential buildings were eligible for financing?
The following residential buildings were eligible for financing:
- existing houses, with one or two dwellings, in which at least two eligible measures for whole building improvement of the envelope and/or engineering systems are implemented;
- existing apartment buildings with at least three separate dwellings, in which eligible measures for whole building improvement of the envelope and/or engineering systems are implemented;
- houses under construction, with one or two dwellings, that are designed to be energy efficient;
- apartment buildings under construction, with one or two dwellings, that are designed to be energy efficient.
Is it true that there was an investment incentive coupled with the REECL loans?
Yes, any borrower who took a REECL loan was entitled to receive an incentive payment toward the cost of the energy saving project once it had been completed, subject to the REECL terms and conditions. However, if any eligible project costs had been partly or fully supported by other grant support programmes, such costs were not eligible under REECL.
What was the amount of the investment incentive?
Subject to the REECL terms and conditions, borrowers were eligible to receive an investment incentive payment of an amount equal to 15% of the lower of (i) the disbursed amount of the loan, and (ii) the eligible investment cost, as determined by the REECL Project Office, for houses with one or two dwellings. Apartment building projects benefited from an investment incentive payment of an amount up to 15% of the lower of (i) the disbursed amount of the loan, and (ii) the eligible investment cost, as determined by the REECL Project Office. More details about the terms and conditions of payment of investment incentives are provided on “About Grants” page of this website.
Who donated the funds for the investment incentive?
The incentive grants were paid from the Kosloduy International Decommissioning Support Fund (KIDSF).
Who could participate in REECL?
Individuals, association of apartment owners or service providers (housing management companies, energy service companies, developers and construction companies) across Bulgaria could take REECL loans to finance energy efficiency home improvements.
How could an applicant apply for a REECL Loan?
More details about how could have been applied for a REECL loan are provided on “How to Apply” page of this website.
How could an applicant qualify for a REECL Loan?
The participating bank checked the credit standing of the applicant and the eligibility of their home improvement project. If the eligibility assessment was successful, a loan agreement would have been offered to the applicant.
Which were the Participating Banks?
The following banks participated:
- United Bulgarian Bank – (REECL products were available on the market until 24 July 2019)
- Piraeus Bank Bulgaria – (REECL products were available on the market until 17 May 2019)
Where could an applicant apply for a REECL loan?
Applications for REECL loans could have been submitted at any branch of the above or at the outlets of some eligible installers.
What home improvement measures in existing buildings qualified for financing?
In order to be eligible for financing under the REECL Programme, projects must have included eligible measures meeting the eligibility criteria detailed on the “Eligible Technologies” pages of this website. The eligible technologies financed by the REECL Facility must have been new, not recycled or refurbished. The following energy efficiency technologies for existing residential buildings would have been considered:
- Energy efficient windows
- Insulation of walls, roof, and floors/ceilings
- Efficient gas boilers and systems, including gasification
- Efficient biomass stoves/boilers and systems
- Solar water heaters and systems
- Cooling and heating heat pumps systems
- Building-integrated photovoltaic systems
- Heat-exchanger stations and building installations
- Balanced mechanical ventilation systems with heat recovery
Who was responsible for obtaining all necessary consents and statuary approvals?
Borrowers were responsible for obtaining all necessary consents and statutory approvals from the competent authorities (including Building Control, Town & Country Planning, Owners of the dwelling/building etc.) and had authorisation to install the technologies on the site as detailed in the designs and quotations attached to the loan application.
Was it possible for borrowers to use the proceeds of a REECL loan to refinance any existing debt?
Borrowers should not have used the proceeds of the REECL loan to refinance any existing debt (whether or not in relation to a project which would meet the REECL eligibility criteria, meaning that the date of the REECL loan agreement should have been before the start date of the project.)
Was there a deadline for applying for grant incentives?
Yes, borrowers should not have been paid grant incentives if they had not submited the grant incentive application form to their bank within four (4) months of signing the REECL loan agreement for financing measures in existing buildings.
Was a borrower who owns and/or occupies a dwelling in an apartment building eligible for a REECL loan for external insulation of walls?
Yes, only if the REECL loan would have been financing a whole building project to fully insulate one or more façades of the building from the ground level to the roof as per conceptual designs prepared or authorised by the project consultant.
Was a borrower allowed to apply for several REECL loans?
Yes, a borrower could have applied for several REECL loans to implement energy saving projects at various addresses and for different eligible measures in each of them, but without duplicating the same measure in the same building.
How many borrowers were required to implement a project in an apartment building?
One service provider, one association of home owners or one or more individual householders, who own and/or occupy separate dwellings in the same apartment building who aimed to implement the same type of eligible measure, financed by a REECL loan.
How suggestion or complaint were made?
Suggestion or complaint were made at bank branch in accordance with the customer services procedures or by contacting the REECL programme office by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How many times a multi-family building could have benefited from financing?
Each multi-family building was eligible once only for implementation of one eligible measure, which could have been implemented in stages. The first stage must have involved the application of the eligible measure in three dwellings in accordance with the approved designs, then every other dwelling in the building could have been improved at their own time. For insulation projects, the first stage involved the completion of one whole facade.
Was partial application for external insulation in apartment buildings eligible?
No, partial applications for external insulation of outdoor walls, roofs and floors in apartment buildings were not eligible.
What documents should have been filled in and submitted to apply for a REECL loan?
The set of required documents to apply for a REECL loan included:
- Sub-loan Application with declaration and required borrower and project details.
- For New Builds: detailed designs; planning permission; and energy performance certificate (EPC) as per approved designs.
- For refurbishment of exiting buildings: design documentation and quotations including:
- The names of the Sub-borrower;
- Full address of the place of installation of Sub-project;
- Details of the supplier – name, Registration Number, address and phone number;
- Full name and description of the technology, detailed technical specifications and characteristics (detailed designs for complex technical solutions), detailed specifications and description of the main and auxiliary equipment and materials;
- Date, validity, name and signature of the issuer, company seal
What documents should have been filled in and submitted to apply for a REECL investment incentive?
After completion of the energy saving measures, financed by a REECL loan, the borrower should have filled in a investment incentive application form supported by the following documents:
For existing buildings:
- Grant Application Form
- Completion Certificate for the work that has been carried out;
(The Completion Certificate should contain full name and address of the Sub-borrower, complete address of the Sub-project, complete name(s) of the installed technologies, detailed description of completed Sub-project with detailed specifications of installed equipment and materials, date of completion and name of the company authorised person. The Completion Certificate should be signed and sealed by the authorised person.)
- Receipt or Bank transfer confirmation.
For new builds:
- Grant Application Form
- Completion Certificate (Permit of Use)
- Technical Passport;
- Energy Performance Certificate of the Building