The BUILD UP Financing Schemes section aims to inform eligible beneficiaries, on new and existing funding opportunities in the field of buildings’ energy efficiency. Information relevant to anyone from public authorities to private business, and from professionals to building owners or tenants, is made available on an ongoing basis.
The Financing mechanisms listed in the BUILD UP Financing Schemes section are initiatives created by the European Union, individual Member States or private institutions, aiming to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy, primarily in buildings, by providing financial incentives to eligible beneficiaries. This may be achieved through direct non-refundable grants, low interest loans, gurantees, or subsidised access to certain goods and services. Depending on their source, the funds may be managed by one or more of the following actors:
- A particular organisation/instrument specifically tasked with handling the fund (e.g. the European Investment Bank, or private fund managers).
- Relevant national and/or regional authorities (e.g. ministries, energy agencies etc). An example is Enova SF, the Norwegian Energy Agency, which handles the Norwegian Energy Fund.
- Banks (e.g. KfW Bankengruppe’s support for energy efficient buildings).
Different funds may target different 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. homeowners/tenants).
We look at the respective categories in further detail below.
Municipalities, local authorities, other public organisations
Suitable funding mechanisms exist for projects ranging from relatively small, single-building interventions to large, neighbourhood-scale development. These may be directly utilised on the authority’s own facilities such as public buildings, or may be used by the authority to finance other energy-related projects of public interest.
Typical measures that are funded include:
- Public building refurbishment (building envelope refurbishments, upgrades of the heating/cooling systems or installation of renewable energy systems). For example, ELENA funding to improve the energy performance of public buildings and sites in several municipalities in the Province of Modena.
- Energy audits. 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 a set of grants available aimed at improving the energy efficiency of districts.
Funding mechanisms for commercial institutions and enterprises tend to be directed towards production processes or existing facilities (building and/or equipment), or be activated within the context of public-private partnerships. Funds are typically aimed for:
- Energy consulting, e.g. advisory support for SMEs in grant form.
- Grants or subsidised loans for purchasing specific products and services. An example is the Building the Future programme in Greece.
- Commercial building refurbishment (building envelope, heating/cooling systems, renewable energy supply). Within such a context, the Norwegian Energy Agency provides funding for the refurbishment of buildings owned by private enterprises.
- Investment in innovative technologies, such as the NER300 (New Entrants’ Reserve) European financing instrument, recently increased by 33%.
Individuals, owners, tenants
There are national and regional funding mechanisms aimed at the building owners and tenants of residential buildings or apartments. The projects covered tend to be small-scale. The objective of such mechanisms is to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy for a large number of citizens, by supporting their investments in renovations and installations. Typical measures funded are:
- Energy audits and engineering on how to reduce energy demand. This is very common across the EU; e.g. a partial grant for energy saving advice is promoted by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi).
- Upgrading the thermal insulation of the building envelope, such as the Dutch scheme for home insulation or the Scottish scheme for tackling fuel poverty.
- 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, including independent photovoltaics (e.g. in Denmark there is a scheme supporting households investing in solar installations so as to sell electricity to the grid), and on-site renewables (e.g. in Belgium a premiums’ scheme supports the installation of solar thermal and photovoltaics).
Last but not least, there are certain Europe-wide funding mechanisms 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 European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), have more general goals related to infrastructure and regional development, which also cover energy related projects. ESIF are managed at the national/local level; within this context, DG ENER has provided guidance on financing the energy renovation of buildings with Cohesion Policy funding.
In the field of energy, the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme supports the transition to a secure, clean and efficient energy system for Europe by focusing on energy efficiency, low-carbon technologies, and smart cities & communities.
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 provides regularly updated information, as well as links to the original sources where you can access all relevant information.
Visit the BUILD UP Financing Schemes section today!
NOTE: This article is a fully updated version of www.buildup.eu/news/36129 which was originally posted in September 2013.