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National programme for energy efficiency rehabilitation of schools improves school buildings performance


The Lyuben Karavelov general secondary school in the City of Varna, Bulgaria, was in dire need of refurbishment. The wooden window frames were worn out beyond repair and there were a lot of broken windows. In addition, the building envelope and the heating system were in need of a general upgrade. Therefore, because of the poor state of the building, the Education Department for the Municipality of Varna included the building in the priority list of schools in need of refurbishment for 2005.

Building details

Type of building
General secondary school

Year built/ Floor area/ Operating hours
The building was constructed in 1961. The total floor area is 4,200m2 and it operates 60 hours a week from Monday to Friday, from 7:30 a.m. till 7:30 p.m.

Heating and cooling installed
Local naphtha-fuel boiler house

Energy label/ CO2 emissions
The success of this project for reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions is demonstrated by the improvement in the Display® ratings from 2005 (before the project) to 2006 (after the project):

_ 2005:

- Energy: Class Е - 312kWh/m2/year
- CO2: Class G - 81kg/m2/year
- Water: Class E – 531 l/m2/year

_ 2006:

- Energy: Class D - 223kWh/m2/year
- CO2: Class E - 56kg/m2/year
- Water: Class G – 989 l/m2/year

_ Unfortunately, the water rating has gone down from Class E to Class G. Therefore the next step is to reduce water consumption in the school.




_ The aim of the project was to improve the indoor climate of the school (by replacing the existing wooden window frames with PVC frames to reduce air infiltration) and to reduce energy costs and CO2 emissions.

Key points

_ All of the wooden window frames in the school were replaced with PVC frames and the windows were double glazed. This was financed through a national programme run by the Ministry of Education, to improve energy efficiency of Bulgarian school by replacing old, worn out wooden window frames. The Lyuben Karavelov school was included in the priority list for the municipality because of its poor condition compared to the rest of the schools.

_ In 2005 the whole lighting system of the building was repaired and all lamps were replaced with modern compact fluorescent lights. This improvement reduced the energy consumption and the CO2 emissions which is clearly visible from the Display® poster. The upgrading of the lighting system was financed by the municipality through a bank loan.

_ The building still needs a new heating system and the envelope needs to be improved. Next year, the Municipality of Varna plans to fund an energy audit and a subsequent project to implement the suggested energy efficiency measures. This will further improve the school’s energy performance and it may reach the highest Display® classes.

Reason for inclusion as Shining Example
This project demonstrates that even with the implementation of only one or two energy saving measures, it is possible to improve the indoor climate for building users and achieve significant energy savings- enough to move up one Display® class.

Costs &


Costs &


The total project cost was €94,965 (187,530 BGN), of which €56,200 (BGN 110,000) for the replacement of the old wooden window frames with PVC frames was financed by the Ministry of Education and €38,765 (77,530 BGN) for the lighting system rehabilitation was funded by the municipality though a bank loan.

The payback period for the project is less than five years.

Refurbishment of the school has improved the indoor comfort for students and teachers and has reduced energy consumption by 89kWh/m2/year (a total of 342 MWh/year), which equates to a saving of €11,400 (BGN 22,200). The project has also reduced CO2 emissions by 25kg/m2/year.

_ In addition to the measurable benefits, the project has also had an impact on the behaviour of the pupils and teachers - they have started to ask what the numbers and classes on the Display® poster represent and what can be done to improve them. Teachers and pupils are also interested in the consequences of saving energy and water and reducing CO2 emissions.

_ The positive results of this project encouraged the school’s management to plan an awareness raising campaign and to acquaint the pupils and teachers with energy saving issues and simple actions that can be taken to reduce not just the bills of the school but the bills of their families by changing their habits. The school’s administration also plans to improve the energy management of the school by introducing easy to follow, everyday checks and actions that can ensure that all of the school’s systems are well maintained.

Partners details

Partners & Roles
The main partner of the municipality for this project was the Ministry of Education, who provided part of the money for this project’s implementation.

_ The Municipality of Varna’s participation in the Display® campaign also contributed a lot to the project. The municipality takes pride in the fact that they have produced 196 Display® posters, predominantly for schools and kindergartens, which demonstrates the care of the municipality’s administration for the young generation. With this number of buildings with posters, the municipality of Varna joins the first rank of European cities participating in the Display® campaign.


In the Varna Municipality, the monitoring and evaluation of energy efficiency projects is undertaken by the school’s administration together with the Education Department of the municipality. This department develops annual plans for the refurbishment of schools and kindergartens, analyses the results of the refurbishments and makes proposals to the City Council for the allocation of funds for these projects.

Lessons Learned
This type of project is applicable to all of the sites and buildings in the Varna Municipality.

_ If a similar project is planned, it is recommended that a detailed energy audit is undertaken first, to identify suitable energy saving measures.
A good package of energy saving measures should include a well balanced set of cheaper and more expensive measures, which as a whole may lead to acceptable technical and financial standards for the project.

_ In order to achieve better and long lasting results, monitoring and evaluation should always be part of the project.

To know more



Varna Municipality

Daniela Kuzmanova

+359 52 659 126



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