RES-H building obligations

Updated: 30.01.2017

Author: Ivana Naydenova

Obligations related to the use of renewable sources to produce energy in buildings are defined in Article 15 par. 2 no. 1 of the Energy Efficiency Act. According to this regulation, any investment project for a new building with a total floor coverage of over 1000 m² must comply with the possibilities of using decentralised systems for the use of renewable energy. This requirement is also part of the new ERSA, stating that in the construction of new or reconstruction, major renovation, overhaul or refurbishing of existing buildings, installations will become operational for production of energy from renewable sources where this is technically feasible and economically viable (art. 20 par. 1 ERSA).

In these buildings, at least 15 percent of the total heating and cooling needed for the building shall have to be produced from renewable sources (art. 20 par. 2 ERSA) by installing: 

  • district heating using biomass or geothermal energy; 
  • individual facilities for burning biomass with a conversion efficiency of at least 85 percent for residential and commercial buildings and 70 percent for industrial buildings; 
  • solar thermal installations; 
  • heat pumps and near-surface geothermal systems.

In the preparation of investment projects for new buildings or reconstruction, major renovation, overhaul or refurbishing of existing buildings, the possibilities of using renewable energy to demonstrate the technical feasibility and economic viability shall be mandatorily analysed. The analysis of the possibilities for using energy from renewable sources is part of the evaluation indicators of annual energy consumption in the building (art. 20 par. 3 ERSA).

In case of implementation of projects for modernisation of production processes in small and medium enterprises, the energy efficiency measures shall be combined with the commissioning into operation of plants for production of heating and cooling from renewable sources for meeting the technological needs of the enterprise (art. 20 par. 4 ERSA).

Concerning public buildings, these obligations came into effect on 1 January 2012; for all other buildings they will become effective from 31 December 2014.

The administrative sanctions under the Energy Efficiency Act provide for: 

  • a fine of BGN 1,000 to 10,000 (EUR 500 – 5,000) or a penalty payment of BGN 5,000 to 50,000 (EUR 2,500 – 25,000) for investors who fail to meet their obligation to certify a building project (art. 71 EEA); 
  • a fine of BGN 500 to 1,500 (EUR 250 – 750) or a penalty payment of BGN 1,000 to 10,000 (EUR 500 – 5,000) for any person failing to meet any other obligations under this act (art. 86 EEA).

Obligated entities

Building investors

Competent authority

Sustainable Energy Development Agency

Obligation on regional level



Further information

Basic information on legal sources