Sofia Introduces Power Saving Services
Energy efficiency is at the core of sustainable development of the capital, said last week Mayor Yordanka Fandakova during a forum organized by the magazine Sofia Municipality and National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises. Banal as they may sound, the words of the city head turn out to be more than reasonable. Investment in new, energy efficient urban transport may save thousands of euro per year from the budget of Sofia and can furthermore reduce air pollution.
In 2014, for example, the Capital Municipality purchased a number of new buses, trolleybuses, trams and metro trains with funds under the EU operational programmes. New 50 trolleybuses trolley buses were delivered 50 over 53 million levs, which will allow up to 15% savings in energy consumption compared to old vehicles. Ten new metro trains were acquired worth over 80 million levs and they are already serving the citizens and guests of the city. They operate at about 20% more economical regime. Another novelty are twenty new tram railcars worth 66 million levs. The total number of new buses in the metropolitan fleet reached 126. All of them are worth 66 million levs and the fuel used by them is the energy efficient compressed natural gas.
Yordanka Fandakova noted that the subway is the most environmentally friendly transport. The new lines currently under construction and those that are to be opened in the spring, to the Business Park and to Sofia Airport are entirely with LED-lighting. The effect of this is two times less energy consumption compared to energy-saving lighting bodies, and compared with conventional ones the savings come to eight- to tenfold. Such lighting is to be built in the new third metro line, whose building is due to start this year, stated Mayor of Sofia.
Indeed, a curious detail is that it is the lighting, especially street lighting, that can help achieve the greatest energy efficiency in the city. With resources from the Kozloduy Fund in the past 2014 as many as 1200 mercury lamps have been replaced by sodium high-pressure lamps. The one-rate and two-rate electrometers were replaced with three-rate ones. Only these measures have saved electricity costs amounting to 740,000 levs compared with 2013.
Sofia Mayor pointed out that the repaired sections of the boulevard Tsarigradsko Shosse are also with replaced lighting. In her words what is forthcoming is a changing of the lights in the city centre, the neighbourhoods of Druzhba and Bankia. The intentions of the municipality is to build intelligent monitoring and management of public lighting as well as LED fixtures to be installed, while old wornout boards, cables, poles and channel networks to be replaced.
Fandakova urged the representatives of small and medium businesses to assist in the information campaign to improve the energy efficiency of residential buildings to which the Government has provided 1 billion levs this year. By now the interest in renovation with European money for the project Energy renovation of Bulgarian homes has been weak, said deputy mayor of the capital Irina Savina, but after the state and EU funds already cover 100% of the funds this will change.