As Europe is striving to reach its 20-20-20 goals a series of steps—both at an organisational and financial level—have been taken to facilitate this process. Different financing mechanisms have been used all over Europe and interested parties can gain substantial aid if they know where to look. The BUILD UP Financing Schemes section aims to provide all the necessary information to keep track of new and existing funding opportunities in the field of building energy efficiency.
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What/who is funded?
The Financing mechanisms listed in BUILD UP are funding initiatives created by the European Union, individual Member States or private institutions, that aim to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy primarily in buildings by providing financial incentives to eligible beneficiaries. This can be done through direct, non-refundable monies, low interest loans or subsidised products and services. Depending on their source, the funds are managed by one or more of the following actors:
- A particular organisation/instrument specifically tasked with handling the fund (e.g. EuropeAid).
- Relevant national and/or regional authorities (e.g. ministries, energy agencies etc). For example, the Environment Round Table in France brings together national and local government actors, among others, and has produced the social housing eco-loan. Enova SF, the Norwegian Energy Agency, handles the Norwegian Energy Fund.
- Banks (e.g. KfW Bankengruppe’s support for energy efficient buildings).
Different funds may be of use to different target groups. Depending on the fund, eligible beneficiaries might be one or more of the following:
- Public authorities, e.g. municipalities.
- Private and public sector enterprises.
- Individuals or groups of individuals (e.g. homeowner/tenant).
How can I find what interests me?
1. I work at a municipality/local authority and I am looking for energy efficient renovation/renewable energy funds aimed at the public sector.
Suitable funding mechanisms exist for projects ranging from relatively small, single-building interventions to large, neighbourhood-scale development. They are directed towards the authority’s facilities such as public buildings, or they may be used by the authority to finance other projects.
Typical measures that are funded are:
- Public building refurbishment (building envelope refurbishments, upgrades of the heating/cooling systems or installation of renewable energy systems). An Estonian scheme used funds raised from the sale of carbon credits to promote energy efficiency in public buildings.
- Energy consulting. For example, the Finnish Ministry of Trade and Industry supports energy audits in the public sector.
- Sustainable urban development projects. For example, in Germany there is set of grants available aimed at improving energy efficiency at district scale.
2. I work at an enterprise/industry and I am looking for funds to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy to my customers or in my business/place of work.
Funding mechanisms for commercial institutions and enterprises tend to be directed towards production processes or the existing facilities (building and/or equipment), or they may be part of public-private partnerships.
Funds are typically directed to:
- Energy consulting (e.g. advisory support for SMEs in grant form).
- Subsidising products and services to offer them at reduced prices. For example the Building the Future programme in Greece.
- Commercial building refurbishment (building envelope, heating/cooling systems, renewable energy supply). The Norwegian Energy Agency provides funding for the refurbishment of buildings owned by private enterprises.
- Investment in innovative technologies (such as the NER300 European financing instrument) and/or environmentally friendly corporate restructuring (such as the French support scheme provided by ADEME.
3. I am an owner/tenant of an apartment or house and looking for funds that can help me install energy efficiency and/or renewable energy measures in my dwelling.
There are national and regional funding mechanisms aimed at the building owners and tenants in residential buildings or apartments. The projects covered tend to be small-scale. Their goal is to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy among a wide range of people, facilitating financial support to invest in renovations and installations.
Typical measures that are funded are:
- Consulting or advice on how to reduce energy demand (e.g. a partial grant for energy saving advice is provided by the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control in Germany).
- Upgrading the thermal insulation of the building envelope (such as the Dutch scheme for home insulation or the Belgian scheme for installing double-glazed windows).
- Upgrading the heating, ventilation and/or cooling systems. For example, such measures are eligible for funding under the Bulgarian Residential Energy Efficiency Credit Line scheme.
- Installation of renewable energy systems: photovoltaics (e.g. in Denmark a scheme exists that regulates the price for solar cell electricity sold off to the grid), solar collectors (e.g. in Poland there is partial repayment of bank loans for their purchase) and renewable heating systems (e.g. a Norwegian fund exists that supports solar heating, biomass and heat pump installations).
There are certain European-wide funding mechanisms that are aimed at promoting, improving and supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy in the residential, public, commercial and industrial sectors. Some of these initiatives, like the European Energy Efficiency Fund, are exclusively linked to energy efficiency and renewable energy. Others such as the Structural and Cohesion Funds, have more general goals that tackle infrastructure and regional development, but these can also be used to support energy related projects. These funding mechanisms can be directly involved in financing a project, or indirectly through the allocation of set funds to national governments for the facilitation of a wide range of projects.
There are a lot of building-related funding opportunities available in Europe, which are constantly being updated, cancelled or renewed based on their performance and the available budget. The BUILD UP Financing Schemes section offers continuously updated information.
Visit the BUILD UP Financing Schemes section today!