Burgas, located on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, is the fourth largest city in Bulgaria with 202,000 inhabitants and the area of 254,000 km2. Burgas is famous for its innovative and green projects. The city‘s potential in developing citizen-led initiatives lies in the strong position of the municipal administration and the trust built through the years.  

Gabrovo, located in central Bulgaria with 60,000 inhabitants and 234,000 km2 won the prestigious European Green Leaf Award for 2021 for their investments in energy efficiency and urban development, but also their achievements in campaigns among citizens. Gabrovo participates in the TANDEMS project with models of a municipal building, commercial building(s) and multifamily apartment blocks.

In both regions the local authority plans to take the lead in encouraging citizen-led energy initiatives by providing a certain percentage of funding and administrative support through the first steps. Citizens will also be able to count on resources from Energy Efficiency and Renewable Sources Fund, or National Recovery and Resilience Plan as well as local investor or energy trader operating on the site.

Although Bulgaria has great potential for the formation of energy communities, especially regarding solar energy,  no such energy project has been implemented. Nevertheless, the integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) encourages the promotion of local energy communities and their active participation in the energy market. In addition, the involvement of professional technical consultancy as EnEffect and leading municipalities as Burgas and Gabrovo will not only enable on-site project implementation, but will build trust in cooperative action.