EUROCITIES on COP 21 – using EU funds for energy saving investments in Sofia

  • environment

Despite a reduced municipal budget, Sofia is making efforts to reduce local energy consumption with the help of EU funds.

From immediate solutions to large scale investment, Sofia’s measures are designed to take it closer to the energy targets it has set itself as a signatory of the Covenant of Mayors.

The city has replaced inefficient street lamps with LEDs with help from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Entire districts have already seen their lighting systems completely replaced, generating annual energy savings of over 5,500MWh and reducing carbon emissions by 5,322 tonnes a year.

Using a combination of municipal, regional and European funding, Sofia has been promoting electric mobility and public transport with large scale investment in trolleybuses, trams and the metro system. It has replaced 90% of old trolleybuses with highly efficient vehicles and is promoting trams as a cleaner, cheaper and faster alternative to the private car. This is expected to save 5,000 tonnes of CO2 and reduce energy consumption in public transport by at least 15%.

And some of the city’s most energy consuming districts are undergoing refurbishment with support from the European Regional Development Fund. This includes building insulation, better connections to district heating systems and the implementation of smart building measurement systems.

For more information about Sofia’s measures, please see the Covenant of Mayors case study here.

This project is part of a series we are promoting in order to give visibility to urban solutions as part of a global climate deal expected to be reached at COP 21 in Paris.