Brief description A joint contribution to address energy saving problems and to promote energy efficiency solutions in the cross-border region.
Region External EU borders
Countries Bulgaria (BG) – Serbia (SRB)
Location Vidin (BG) and Knjaževac (SRB) municipalities and other municipalities in the Vidin (BG) and Borski (SRB) and Zaječarski (SRB) Districts
Type of project partners Municipalities
Local associations/groups (CSOs, including local NGOs)
Size (total budget including EU grants) € 50,000 to € 200,000
Main themes Environmental protection, climate change and risk prevention
Keywords (Types of Activities) Research and studies
Conferences/major events
Acquisition of equipment
Keywords (Aspects of Good Practice) Genuine cross-border dimension
Genuine cross-border impact
Good sustainability
Background and Objectives The project focuses on energy saving problems and promoting energy efficiency solutions in the cross-border region of the Vidin and Knjaževac municipalities. It has as main target group the municipal employees of 19 local self-governments in Vidin, Borski and Zaječarski Districts dealing with energy, environment and climate change, as well as tenants, building owners and the construction industry.

The overall objective of the project is to contribute towards solving energy saving problems and promoting energy efficiency solutions in the cross-border region.

Its specific objective is to enhance technical and institutional capacities to perform energy audits, thermal calculations and energy improvements in the cross-border area.

Main activities The key activities of the project are:

  • Training in the use of thermography in construction industry; comprising lectures on thermal imaging systems, collecting quality data, accurate temperature readings, formula for measurement effects such as distance and emissivity and interpretation of thermograms.
  • Purchase of equipment for performing energy audits by a thermography survey; thermography camera and environment instruments – humidity and temperature gauges;
  • Selection of buildings to be audited; 30 buildings has been selected for 30 energy audits in two pilot municipalities – Knjaževac and Vidin, for different types of buildings – public, business and private;
  • Energy audits of the selected 30 buildings using a high resolution thermography survey; inspection and analysis of energy flows for energy conservation, aiming to reduce the amount of energy input into the system without negatively affecting the output(s).
  • Seminar on energy efficiency for the purpose of exchanging experiences and know-how between Serbia and Bulgaria and capacity building. Three-day event gathered representatives from all 19 municipalities of the Vidin, Bor and Zaječar area.  The seminar enabled the sharing of information on different programmes and strategies in Serbia and Bulgaria, technical issues, benefits for citizens and municipalities, and sources of finance.
  • Transfer of know-how (monitoring during audits, energy reports, advising on energy efficiency) in order to improve energy efficiency sector.

The project also organised three cross-border events: an energy efficiency seminar; an awareness campaign (project promotion, invitation to audits, etc); and, a final conference.

Main results The project will achieve the following:

  • Establishment of a link between 19 municipalities and 5 other organisations in administration, education and civil society sector interested in addressing energy efficiency problems.
  • The project’s training and networking activities brought together 20 institutions and organisations interested in addressing energy efficiency problems which, on the medium and long term, contributes to improve the knowledge-based economy.
  • Preparation of 31 documents instrumental for planning for energy efficiency, 30 energy audits and a “Guide to Energy Efficiency” which collects and reflects the emerging solutions explored and developed during the project
  • 15 experts trained in thermography survey for the energy audits of houses and buildings
  • Capacities of 50 people with a wider role in the cross-border region (20 experts, administrative staff in the 19 municipalities, managers, specialists and activists in partner organisations and in relevant stakeholders (building companies, building materials manufacturers, etc.) raised through project training and networking activities.
Aspects of good practice The project has good prospects in terms of sustainability and multiplier effects.

This intervention operated on a sample of 30 selected buildings and has clear replication potential. The number and type of buildings audited for energy efficiency can be easily extended in the future without further major expenditure. Moreover, the 19 municipalities in the target group were at the forefront of those interested in jointly addressing energy efficiency problems. It is expected that based on the achievements of the current project more municipalities in the cross-border area can replicate the project. The cross-border region counts 96 municipalities, 60 on the Bulgarian and 36 on the Serbian side.

Technical sustainability has been ensured with the equipment purchased for energy audits. The equipment is in the ownership of the PUC Directorate for Development, Urban Planning and Construction “Knjaževac”, the project applicant. Due to their mission and location, it is appropriate for them to own the technical equipment, which is available for use by the municipalities.

There are further possibilities for extension. The current project tackled energy efficiency in urban heating. There are many energy efficiency sub-sectors which could be jointly explored: use of energy in production, the opportunity of using alternative / renewable energy sources, etc. Therefore, municipalities, universities and public utilities could use the framework of future CBC or other IPA/structural funds opportunities to build on the established networks in order to address other relevant energy efficiency problems.

Start and completion dates:
24.04.2013 – 23.04.2014
More information N/A
Partner SRB: PC Directorate for Development, Urban Planning and Construction – Knjaževac, Serbia

Regional Centre for sustainable development and development of entrepreneurship “Timok” doo, Zaječar;
Regionalni centar za održivi razvoj i razvoj preduzetništva Timok d.o.o. Zaječar
Nikole Pašića 37/4
Zaječar, 19000 Serbia

Tel: +381 (0)19 426 516; +381 (0)19 426 516

Partner BG: NGO “European Perspectives”, 67, Ekzarh Josif str., fl.3, app.2, 3700 Vidin, Bulgaria

Tel: +359 889 722 837; +359 889 722 837