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Innovative financing schemes

Proposals should address the development or replication of innovative financing schemes including various forms of on-bill financing (e.g. utility-financed). Exploring possible avenues of supporting energy efficiency financing by innovating the framework and instruments that could be further up-scaled (e.g. under the European cohesion policy or other schemes). Analyse impacts of existing financial instruments and requirements for up-scaling. Proposals should include capacity building on innovative financing for specific groups of stakeholders such as Member States, public authorities, energy agencies, energy consultants, and the financial sector, led by or involving professional federations or associations at the national level as appropriate. Capacity building could use concrete examples developed through project development facilities (e.g. ELENA, MLEI PDA). Training tools should be complementary to already existing/recognised training schemes for the targeted groups, and demonstrate sustainability.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 and 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

There is a need to set up innovative financing schemes at regional or national level in order to create the conditions for adequate supply of private finance for energy efficiency investments. New financing schemes can therefore play an important role in supporting the effective implementation of the Investment Plan for Europe and the effective use of European Structural and Investments Funds (ESIF). This requires among others setting up the legal and technical arrangements between the key actors on a given territory, agreeing on common procedures for qualifying projects and financing them, setting up templates for technical specifications and contracts, etc. However, the development of new financing schemes should always be based on the principles of complementarity and additionality, as well as transparency and due diligence and reflect the fundamentals of the given territory or market segment.

Innovative financing schemes can involve different types of organisations and ownership structures and include for example replication of previously demonstrated successful financing models such as dedicated credit lines; guarantee facilities; factoring/forfaiting schemes; on-bill (e.g. utility-financed) or on-tax financing schemes; citizen financing (e.g. crowd-funding) for energy efficiency; finance models for the deep renovation of buildings, addressing both property and rental markets; or schemes based on project aggregators or clearing houses at regional or national level, which should support project development and match demand and supply of energy efficiency finance.

The large-scale roll-out of innovative financing schemes may also require overcoming a number of obstacles such as the lack of competences, in particular for public authorities, as well as the legal and policy framework at national and EU levels in order to support the implementation of effective and sustainable energy systems and value chains.

Proposed actions are expected to demonstrate the impacts listed below (wherever possible, use quantified indicators and targets), depending on the activities of the proposal:

  • Delivery of innovative financing schemes that are operational and ready to finance energy efficiency investments.
  • Market stakeholders with increased skills/capability/competencies (to be measured in Number of people with increased capacity) and long-lasting training tools.