Nowadays at the beginning of the 21th century, the main source of heating for the vast majority of the Bulgarian population is still the solid fuel as ascertained by a nationally representative survey carried out by Progress Consult among the population of the country (1700 participants). 53 % of the households in Bulgaria use solid fuel. This statistics arises from the fact that the residents of the villages (96 % of the households therein) and the small towns (77 %) prefer this type of fuel. And namely the villages and the small towns represent nearly one half of the country population.
In fact, the share of households, using electric heating devices (heaters and radiators), is larger than the share of the households using the central heating system. Another 16 % of the households also use electric power for heating by air conditioning systems. Up to now, only one fifth of the population could relay on central heating. The natural gas, although gaining popularity, is a source of heating only for ca. 3 % of the households in the country.
The central heating system is a problem concerning mainly the residents of the capital, since 83 % of the households there are dependent on this source of heating. The population of the large regional cities relays mainly on electric power as according to the statistics 40 % of them are using electric heaters and radiators, and another 33 % - air conditioning systems. Thus three thirds of the total number of residents in the large regional cities use for heating some type of electrical devices, and namely they would be the most affected in case of crises in the electric power supply.
The solid fuel is not only the most widely used, but it is also considered as the most effective and low-cost source of heating by the greatest part of the population. Almost a half of the enquired Bulgarians marked the solid fuel, while the central heating system was marked only by one fifth of them. It should be noted that the share of people supporting the central heating is virtually equal to that of the peoples supporting the electric power (summarized shares of the people using heating devices like heaters, radiators and air conditioning). Concerning the heating by electric power, the opinion that the air conditioning systems are much more effective and financially favorable source of heating strongly prevail.
The solid fuel is considered as the most effective and low-cost source of heating mostly by the residents in the small town and villages. The air conditioning systems are the most attractive source of heating for the residents in the large regional cities. Yet they – together with the residents of Sofia, declare the most positive attitude towards the natural gas as source of heating.
11.5 % of the Bulgarian households are planning to change their source of heating this year. More than a half of the households are planning to start using air conditioning systems for heating, which will substantially increase the sales of such devices. The shares of the households, planning to start using natural gas and solid fuel are nearly equal. In fact, this will result in more than 50 % increase of the total number of households using natural gas as source of heating.
The data are based on a nationally representative survey carried out by Progress Consult among the adult population of the country (1700 participants).