FAQs

  1. Eligibility
    1. How many partners should be involved in my IEE project?
    2. My organisation is based in Switzerland (or Turkey, Africa, Asia, USA, etc.). Can I be a partner of an IEE project and apply for funding?
    3. Are UN organisations, such as F.A.O., eligible to participate?
    4. Are Sole Traders eligible for participation under the IEE programme?
  2. General
    1. Does the IEE programme fund research and technological development (RTD) projects for intelligent energy? If not, what other EU programmes could fund such projects?
    2. How can we know whether our idea for a proposal fits with the yearly funding priorities?
    3. I would like to submit a proposal to IEE. Could you please tell me whether it should necessarily be written in English?
    4. Can we apply for more than one project proposal in the IEE call?
    5. We submitted a proposal under this year's call. When can we expect a decision?
    6. Does IEE funding fall under STATE AID rules? Does the "de-minimis" rule apply?
  3. Budget/Finance
    1. Do all subcontracts have to be tendered and can we follow the national guidelines in tendering?
    2. Which total budget should my IEE project have?
    3. The programme can support up to 75% of project costs. Can a beneficiary receive money from another partner in the consortium to cover part or all of the other 25%?
    4. Is it necessary for the co-beneficiaries of a project to sign the grant agreement with the EACI?
    5. If some partners have received a Personal Identification Code (PIC) in other EU programmes is it no longer necessary for them to submit the financial documents under the IEE programme?
    6. I am preparing a project proposal, how can I prove that my cofinancing will be secured? Is it necessary to get a letter from the co financing source? What exactly needs to be written in this letter?
    7. As far as audit reports are concerned, are they mandatory only for individual partners requesting more than € 750 000 or should they be included by all partners whenever the total budget of the entire proposal exceeds € 750 000?
    8. Apart from the Financial Identification form (FI) is there any other document required by the coordinator related to its bank institution?
    9. Can you tell the conditions under which a beneficiary needs a bank guarantee?
    10. Are there any limitations for specific budget headings (human resources, sub-contracting costs, equipments)?
    11. What percentage can I claim for indirect costs ?
    12. Are the salaries of civil servants eligible expenditures?
    13. Regarding the budget planning: is it possible to integrate in a partner's budget the costs of invitation (travel and accommodation) of speakers/ representatives of institutions in specific events?
  4. Other
    1. Which organisations can apply to market surveillance joint actions (SAVE – Consumers & Products)?
    2. EU labelling of Heating and Cooling products: What is the latest news regarding the relevant EU policies and regulations (ALTENER – Heating and cooling from RES)?

Eligibility

How many partners should be involved in my IEE project?

There is no general rule apart from the minimum number of partners indicated as eligibility condition (3 in most cases, except BUILD UP Skills and MLEI-PDA). Each project requires a different set of partners with specific knowledge, capacities, roles and geographical location to be able to deliver its objectives. In most cases, successful proposals involve more than the required minimum number of partners. The average is between 8 and 9 partners. Still, nothing prevents a proposal of a smaller consortium from being successful if you can demonstrate that this is enough to deliver your objectives and have a Europeanwide impact. Large consortia with 20 or more partners would need to show that the benefit from having so many partners (e.g. more countries covered, more know-how) justifies the major effort to co-ordinate and manage a project with so many organisations involved.

My organisation is based in Switzerland (or Turkey, Africa, Asia, USA, etc.). Can I be a partner of an IEE project and apply for funding?

No. Only organisations established in one of the 27 EU Member States, Croatia, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are currently eligible.
If additional countries join the programme, they will be indicated on the IEE web site. If you are not established in any of these countries you cannot sign a grant agreement with the EACI even if you do not request any EU financial support. You can however contribute to the project as a sub-contractor if it can be demonstrated that your company offers the best value for money. But the general principle applies that subcontracting is foreseen for specific, limited services to the project consortium only, and not for having an organisation taking the role of a "quasi" partner.

Are UN organisations, such as F.A.O., eligible to participate?

Yes, international organisations may take part in action under the IEE Programme provided they are established in one of the countries eligible for IEE funding. Details on the participation of international organisations are available in the annual IEE Work Programmes. 'International organisation' means any legal entity arising from an association of States, other than the EU, established on the basis of a treaty or similar act, having common institutions and an international legal personality distinct from that of its Member States.

Are Sole Traders eligible for participation under the IEE programme?

No. In the case of Sole Traders, there is no legal difference between the owner and the business. Sole Traders are therefore considered to be 'natural persons' and thus are not eligible.

General

Does the IEE programme fund research and technological development (RTD) projects for intelligent energy? If not, what other EU programmes could fund such projects?

No, the IEE programme does not fund RTD projects. It acts rather as a catalyst for socio-economic, market, regulatory, policy and institutional changes (e.g. international transfer of experience, promotion of best practices, education and training, institutional capacity building, information dissemination, creation of new standards and norms etc.). At European level, you may obtain funds for RTD projects under the EU Research Framework Programmes. You could also try and identify suitable national funding opportunities in your country by contacting the responsible Ministries.

How can we know whether our idea for a proposal fits with the yearly funding priorities?

The priorities are defined in the annual work programme and in the Call text. Should you want to double-check if your idea is addressed by this year's priorities you can submit a short outline to the EACI. However please be aware that to ensure fair and equal treatment of all proposers the EACI has to limit its advisory role. Only general guidance will be provided. Specific hints, ideas on how to make a proposal better or recommendations for possible partners cannot be given. You will find the practical way for submitting your proposal idea on the Call website. Beware that the EACI stops this service well in advance of the Call deadline.

I would like to submit a proposal to IEE. Could you please tell me whether it should necessarily be written in English?

Legal Entity Forms, Financial Identification Forms, legal documents, and balance sheets can be provided in any EU official language. However the application itself should preferably be submitted in English. If the proposal is written in an EU language other than English, you must provide a translation of the summary in English and it is recommended to include an English summary of all sections of Part B of the proposal. Note that, for projects supported by the IEE programme, the project management, reporting and a large part of the communication with the EACI will have to be in English.

Can we apply for more than one project proposal in the IEE call?

Yes, legally there is no constraint on the number of applications made by one organisation to an IEE Call. However, you should check whether you have sufficient resources to implement more than one project and also whether the interest/aim/relevance of the different proposals is sufficiently valuable to your organisation.

We submitted a proposal under this year's call. When can we expect a decision?

The planning of the call is announced in each Call for Proposals.

Does IEE funding fall under STATE AID rules? Does the "de-minimis" rule apply?

The objective of State aid control, as laid down in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), is to ensure that government interventions do not distort competition and intra-community trade. EU funding is out of the scope of state aid rules as State aid is "any aid granted by a Member State or through State resources in any form whatsoever..." (Article 107 TFEU). The de-minimis rule therefore does not apply for funding from IEE. However the co-financed part, if awarded by a national, regional or local entity could eventually fall under the state aid legal framework, included the de-minimis rule. For further information on state aid we would recommend you to address questions to InfoComp@ec.europa.eu

Budget/Finance

Do all subcontracts have to be tendered and can we follow the national guidelines in tendering?

Yes, beneficiaries have to demonstrate for all subcontractors that they have selected the best value for money. In doing so the beneficiary's policy regarding subcontracting is accepted, provided that it is in line with the intention of the grant agreement (best value for money). Many companies have specific procurement procedures and thresholds determining how to proceed. If there is no such written down company policy, we recommend that the subcontract be selected taking into account the principles of the European Directive on public procurement .

Which total budget should my IEE project have?

There is no “typical” budget – it will depend on the nature of your project (duration, tasks needed to meet your objectives, size of the consortium, hourly rates of partners etc.) In practice, projects with a total budget below € 500 000 or above €2.5 million are the exception, whilst most are around € 1 million. Yet, these figures should not be the starting point for your proposal. You should rather start bottom-up by calculating the working hours needed to achieve your objectives and, on this basis, calculate your costs. Do not be surprised if you find that hourly rates vary significantly between organisations and countries!

The programme can support up to 75% of project costs. Can a beneficiary receive money from another partner in the consortium to cover part or all of the other 25%?

Yes, such arrangement is not forbidden but, in nearly all cases, partners do not rely on each other for their co-financing. The latter comes from own resources and/or from public or private sources outside the project consortium.

Is it necessary for the co-beneficiaries of a project to sign the grant agreement with the EACI?

Co-beneficiaries must give a mandate to their project coordinator to empower him to sign the grant agreement, and its subsequent riders, on their behalf. There is a specific template available on the IEE website for this purpose. The effect is the same as if they were signing the grant agreement themselves.

If some partners have received a Personal Identification Code (PIC) in other EU programmes is it no longer necessary for them to submit the financial documents under the IEE programme?

Yes, an organisation which has a validated PIC code does not have to send its legal entity documents as the latter can in principle be found in the Unique Registration Facility (URF) of the Commission. In exceptional cases, where the info would not be available, EACI will request the partner to submit this information during the negotiation phase. However, although this might change in future, the financial information still needs to be provided.

I am preparing a project proposal, how can I prove that my cofinancing will be secured? Is it necessary to get a letter from the co financing source? What exactly needs to be written in this letter?

You must describe your planned co-financing in the relevant table of the Application Form (part B). In the case that you are expecting/aiming co-financing from external 3rd parties (incl. sponsorships), identify the co-financing party and describe the state of advancement in the confirmation of this co-funding. Note that confirmation of this funding or letters of intent for funding may be attached to the proposal, but are not mandatory at proposal stage. You You may want to add a letter as part of the Letters of Support which you are annexing to the proposal.

As far as audit reports are concerned, are they mandatory only for individual partners requesting more than € 750 000 or should they be included by all partners whenever the total budget of the entire proposal exceeds € 750 000?

Only if the contribution requested by one partner is more than € 750 000 - ie: per partner, this organisation (non public only) must submit, with the proposal, an audited report of its latest yearly financial accounts.

Apart from the Financial Identification form (FI) is there any other document required by the coordinator related to its bank institution?

No. Only if the bank did not sign the FI form, then a copy of a bank statement needs to be added (indicating the bank as well as the account number).

Can you tell the conditions under which a beneficiary needs a bank guarantee?

The requirement for a bank guarantee is analysed during the contract negotiation phase as it depends on the EU contribution amount requested and is based on the results of four ratios:

  1. Dependency ratio, computed as the ratio of EC contribution to equity. It is an indicator of the capacity of an applicant to co-finance a project in the absence of third party financing. Furthermore, it is an indicator of the project's importance relative to the applicant's financial means;
  2. Current ratio, computed as the ratio of current assets to current liabilities. It is widely used indicator of an applicant's capacity to pay off short term liabilities FAQ revised 24.03.11 5 through the realisation of its short term assets in the event of unforeseen cash shortages;
  3. Leverage ratio, computed as the ratio of liabilities to balance sheet total. It is an indicator about the exposure of an applicant to swings in earnings – the higher its debt level, the higher the risk lower earnings would result in the inability to service debt;
  4. Profitability, i.e. whether operating profit is positive or not.

Are there any limitations for specific budget headings (human resources, sub-contracting costs, equipments)?

No. There are no immediate limitations per budget heading at the stage of the proposal but once the grant agreement is signed there are some limitations for what concerns budget shifts between categories and beneficiaries. In principle the IEE programme does contribute only exceptionally to any equipment costs.

What percentage can I claim for indirect costs ?

For the sake of simplification, indirect (or overhead) costs are calculated as a flat rate of 60% on the direct staff costs. This rate applies to all beneficiaries. However, beneficiaries involved in an on-going IEE grant agreement for the establishment of energy agencies (i.e. an operating grant) may claim the 60% only as of the moment when that grant agreement has ended.

Are the salaries of civil servants eligible expenditures?

Yes, salary costs of personnel of public administrations are eligible to the extent that they relate to the costs of activities which the relevant public authorities would not carry out if the projects concerned were not undertaken.

Regarding the budget planning: is it possible to integrate in a partner's budget the costs of invitation (travel and accommodation) of speakers/ representatives of institutions in specific events?

Yes, costs related to invited speakers (including their travel/accommodation), if justified, can be included and should come under the 'other costs' budget category. Those costs will be eligible as long as they comply with the eligibility criteria (incurred during the duration of the action, indicated in the budget, necessary for the implementation of the action, recorded in accounting system, reasonable,….). The category 'travel costs' is only for staff employed by the participating organisations.

Other

Which organisations can apply to market surveillance joint actions (SAVE – Consumers & Products)?

The joint action supporting the market surveillance of the ecodesign directive, energy labelling directive and tyre labelling regulation is only open to bodies mandated by their government for market surveillance activities relating to these pieces of legislation.
Any other organisation wishing to take part in a consortium of a joint action would need either:
i) to have an appointed market surveillance body sign a mandate appointing them to act on its behalf, or
ii) to have a national market surveillance authority declare them an appointed body.
If no body has been appointed by their government for market surveillance activities, a signed mandate from the relevant ministry should be submitted alternatively.

EU labelling of Heating and Cooling products: What is the latest news regarding the relevant EU policies and regulations (ALTENER – Heating and cooling from RES)?

This news is of interest for proposers addressing the key actions in the IEE Call 2013 (i) ALTENER “Heating and cooling from RES”, or (ii) ALTENER “RES Consumers”, or (iii) SAVE “Consumers and products”.
IEE Call 2013 includes “Heating and cooling from renewable energy sources” (section 10.2.2) with a priority for “actions supporting the implementation of EU labelling of RES H/C products. These actions should address those responsible for issuing and administering the labelling scheme as well as end consumers”.
In line with the Energy Labelling Directive 2010/30/EU on the 18 February 2013 the Commission adopted proposals for delegated acts on the energy labelling of (i) water heaters, hot water storage tanks and packages of water heater and solar device pdf - 4 MB [4 MB] [C(2013) 818 final], and (ii) space heaters, combination heaters, packages of space heater, temperature control and solar device and packages of combination heater, temperature control and solar device pdf - 6 MB [6 MB] [C(2013 817 final].  Following consultations in the Parliament and the Council, these two delegated acts are expected to be finalised and published in June 2013. 

Last update: 10/04/2013 | Top