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Joint efforts guarantee success


St. Cyril and Methodius Secondary School No. 1 is located in the centre of the town of Smolyan in Bulgaria. The school building is a solid-frame brick structure that was constructed in two phases in 1967 and in 1985. The school building consists of several units, connected by warm links. The whole school is heated by a common heating system. There are two gyms, a ceremonial hall, a canteen and several workshops.

The wooden joinery of the school was worn out, with many broken windows. The heating distribution system had almost no insulation. The lighting in the classrooms was substandard and the luminaries installed were old and inefficient.

Building details

Type of building
Secondary school

Year built/ Floor area/ Operating hours
The western wing of the school was built in 1967 and the central part in 1985. The total floor area is 8,748 m2 and the school is open 60 hours a week form Monday to Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Heating and cooling installed
Heat supply is provided by a light-oil fuel boiler. The boiler was installed in 2002 and is still in very good condition. It has an automatic control for the combustion cycle.

Energy label/ CO2 emissions
The rehabilitation of the building and the implementation of the energy efficiency measures defined by the detailed audit led to the improvement of the building’s energy performance. The Display® rating for energy consumption moved up from Class B to Class A, however the CO2 emissions rating remained the same at Class B. Unfortunately the water rating dropped one class to C, which is an indication that the school’s management should now focus on reducing water consumption.

_ 2005:

- Energy (kWh/m2/year): B (89)
- CO2 (kg/m2/year): B (23)
- Water (l/m2/year): B (183)

_ 2006:

- Energy (kWh/m2/year): A (67)
- CO2 (kg/m2/year): B (17)
- Water (l/m2/year): C (251)



The aim of this project was to improve the comfort of the classrooms by reducing cold air infiltration; reduce the cost of space heating and improve the lighting in the classrooms to bring it up to the recommended standard.

_ At the same time, a large-scale, national programme for the modernisation of schools’ lighting systems was underway, and St. Cyril and Methodius Secondary School No. 1 in Smolyan took part in this programme.

Key points
An energy audit of the school, undertaken by a Bulgarian auditing company, highlighted three areas where energy efficiency measures could be implemented:

- Replacement of joinery. The wooden window frames of the school class rooms and the metal entrance doors were replaced with PVC double-glazed windows, with U-value 2.00 W/m2К, which reduced cold air infiltration to 0.6 h-1.
- Heat distribution network. Heat losses were reduced by insulating the pipes and installing stop valves. These measures reduced heat losses from the distribution network to 5%, improving the efficiency of the heating system and reducing fuel consumption.

_ Replacing the wooden window frames and reducing heat losses from the distribution network reduced energy consumption from 161.1 kWh/m2 per year to 119.9 kWh/m2 per year at an annual benchmark of 121.6 kWh/m2.



_ The school’s lighting system was upgraded by installing energy efficient luminaries. This was part of a large-scale, national programme, funded by the Ministry of Education. Smolyan Municipality took advantage of this programme and began to modernise the indoor lighting systems in all 40 schools in their territory.

Reason for inclusion as Shining Example

_ The example of St Cyril and Methodius school and all of the work that the Smolyan municipal administration has done so far demonstrates the will of the municipal council to save energy and to show to the local community the importance of these issues. For the next year the municipal’s energy program includes:

- Weekly information days on energy issues
- The development of a special booklet “Use energy saving it” addressed to all inhabitants of the municipality with a special section for children and pupils
- Publication of periodic editions with information about energy efficiency materials and companies working on energy issues.
- A broad Display® awareness raising campaign

_ The municipality’s policies on promoting energy efficiency are expressed in their three year municipal energy programme. 5.25% of the municipal’s budget is allocated to their energy programme.

Costs &


Costs &


The energy audit of the school was financed by the municipality from their energy programme budget.

_ The Ministry of Education financed the energy saving measures, which cost €84,650 (BGN 169,300).
The payback period for this project is 4.45 years.

The achieved savings amount to 25,357t fuel or €19,017 (BGN 38,034) annually.

_ Renovating the lighting systems in the 40 schools in Smolyan reduced lighting energy consumption by 60%. This led to a reduction in cost of €83,065 (BGN 166,130) and at the same time immensely improved the working conditions in the classrooms.

_ In addition, the CO2 emissions avoided as a result of this project amount to 67 kg/m2/year.

Partners details

Partners & Roles
The partners for this project were the Municipality of Smolyan and the Ministry of Education.

_ The municipality has appointed an energy efficiency officer who is responsible for organising and controlling all activities in the field of energy efficiency and working with the state Energy Efficiency Agency and the Municipal Energy Efficiency Network EcoEnergy. The energy efficiency officer participates in the development of the municipal energy programmes and maintains the municipal information system on the energy consumption of all municipal sites.

_ In total, €112,523 (BGN 225,106) has been spent on the implementation of different energy saving measures in schools and kindergartens in the Smolyan Municipality in 2006.


This project is widely applicable both in schools and other municipal buildings, because it involves simple measures such as energy efficient lighting and insulation that can provide excellent benefits in terms of reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions and improving thermal comfort for building users.

_ Monitoring and evaluation of the results of this project was undertaken by the school’s administration and the municipal energy efficiency officer.

_ The results from the project are reported on the basis of data issued by the accounting department of the municipality for the actual expenditure on energy during the heating period. The excellent achievements of the project are demonstrated by the Display® poster. The poster itself and the explanation of its meaning raised the interest of the children and their parents in energy issues. The municipality has planned ambitious activities for awareness raising for the next year as part of their Municipal Energy Programme.

Lessons Learned
Schools are one of the most appropriate social environments for targeted activities in energy issues. Starting with the pupils and teachers, considerable results can be achieved indirectly by involving their families, friends and neighbours.

_ An important learning point from this project is that you should never miss the opportunity to raise awareness, disseminate knowledge and skills, and encourage changes in behaviour to get the best out of simple energy efficiency measures that can save energy in peoples’ every day lives.

To know more



Smolyan Municipality

Milena Pencheva

+359 301 67 677



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