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TOPIC : Mainstreaming energy efficiency finance

Topic identifier: LC-SC3-EE-10-2018-2019-2020
Publication date: 27 October 2017
Focus area: Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future (LC)

Types of action: CSA Coordination and support action
DeadlineModel:
Opening date:
single-stage
25 January 2018
Deadline: 04 September 2018 17:00:00

Types of action: CSA Coordination and support action
DeadlineModel:
Opening date:
single-stage
24 January 2019
Deadline: 03 September 2019 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Work Programme Part: Secure, clean and efficient energy
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Energy efficiency is not yet considered as an attractive investment by the financial sector which limits the possibility to use external private finance on top of equity of project owners and available public funding. The lack of statistical data on the actual energy and costs savings achieved by energy efficiency investment projects, as well as on payment default rates, results in financial institutions attributing high risk premiums to energy efficiency investments.

Energy efficiency represents high transaction costs for rather small investments, which is not financially very attractive. Technical and legal standardisation is highly needed at all steps of the investment value chain in order to simplify transactions and increase the confidence of financial institutions. The lack of standardisation of projects also prevents securitisation of energy efficiency assets (loans or equity) so that financial institutions are not able to refinance their debt on the capital markets[1].

Whereas energy efficiency investments are usually expected to be paid back exclusively through the reduction of the energy bill, there is increasing evidence that non-energy benefits play a key role in the decision to invest in energy efficiency. This includes for instance increased building value, lower tenant turnover or vacancy rates etc. These benefits need to be quantified through data collection and monetised in order to evolve the parameters used by financiers to assess an energy efficiency investment.

Scope:

Proposals should address at least one of the following issues:

  • Development, demonstration and promotion of frameworks for the standardisation and benchmarking of sustainable energy investments. This could include for example, but not exclusively, labelling schemes, project rating methodologies and risk assessment tools, standardised legal and financial structures of assets (loans, guarantees, energy performance contracts etc.) in order to develop securitisation for energy efficiency based financial products. Proposals integrated in a broader approach such as socially responsible investment should focus on the energy component;
  • Capacity building for banks and investors at the national and local level, in particular on underwriting sustainable energy investments;
  • Gathering, processing and disclosing large-scale data on actual financial performance of energy efficiency investments, in order to create a track record for energy efficiency in different sectors (buildings, industry, transport, etc.) Proposals should build upon or complement the work of the Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group (EEFIG) e.g. the De-risking Energy Efficiency Platform[2];
  • Further integration of non-energy benefits in project valuation, in particular in the building sector, leading to evolution of existing financial products or creation of new targeted products;
  • Targeting institutional investors (e.g. public pension schemes) in order to increase the share of their funds invested in energy efficiency, or to develop specific funds or investment products. Supporting the integration of energy efficiency in portfolio management strategies for institutional investors and/or fund managers, including through re-definition of fiduciary duties;
  • Exploring the impact of revised risk ratings and requirements for energy efficiency on financial regulations (Basel III, Solvency II).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 million and EUR 1.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Proposals are expected to demonstrate, depending on the scope addressed, the impacts listed below, using quantified indicators and targets wherever possible:

  • Number of financial institutions and other stakeholders reached as well as their potential volume of investment concerned;
  • Frameworks, standardisation, benchmarking, standardised descriptions and data evidence of financial returns of energy efficiency investments agreed and accepted by the market;
  • Higher allocation of institutional investments to energy efficiency; standardisation of assets enabling securitisation; development of a secondary market for energy efficiency assets (in million Euro of investment within 5 years after the end of the project);
  • Primary energy savings triggered by the project (in GWh/year);
  • Investments in sustainable energy triggered by the project (million Euro).

Additional positive effects can be quantified and reported when relevant and wherever possible:

  • Reduction of the greenhouse gases emissions (in tCO2-eq/year) and/or air pollutants (in kg/year) triggered by the project.
Delegation Exception Footnote:

It is expected that this topic will continue in 2020.

[1]A successful example of standardisation enabling securitisation is the PACE market in the USA

[2]https://deep.eefig.eu/

Topic conditions and documents

1. Eligible countries: described in Annex A of the Work Programme.
A number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects. See the information in the Online Manual.

 

2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in Annex B and Annex C of the Work Programme.

Taking into account the nature of the activity and with the objective to maximize the European Added Value and European market uptake through transnational collaboration[[Transition towards Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy and the Energy Union project are cross-national policy initiatives and priorities aiming at trans-national solutions.]], the following additional eligibility criteria apply for Coordination and Support Actions (CSA):

  1. at least three legal entities shall participate in an action;
  2. each of the three legal entities shall be established in a different Member State or Associated Country

all three legal entities shall be independent of each other within the meaning of Article 8 of the Rules for Participation.

Proposal page limits and layout: please refer to Part B of the proposal template in the submission system below.

 

3. Evaluation:

  • Evaluation criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex H of the Work Programme. 
  • Submission and evaluation processes are described in the Online Manual.

4. Indicative time for evaluation and grant agreements:

Information on the outcome of evaluation (single-stage call): maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.

5. Proposal templates, evaluation forms and model grant agreements (MGA):

Coordination and Support Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Standard proposal template
Standard evaluation form
General MGA - Multi-Beneficiary
Annotated Grant Agreement

6. Additional provisions:

Horizon 2020 budget flexibility
Classified information
Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply

Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions.

Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

Open access to research data
The Open Research Data Pilot has been extended to cover all Horizon 2020 topics for which the submission is opened on 26 July 2016 or later. Projects funded under this topic will therefore by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out under the conditions described in Annex L of the Work Programme. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs. See the Online Manual.

Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.

 

8. Additional documents:

1. Introduction WP 2018-20
10. Secure, clean and efficient energy WP 2018-20
12. Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials WP 2018-20
18. Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation WP 2018-20

General annexes to the Work Programme 2018-2020

Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Regulation of Establishment
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme


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Type of Action Coordination & support action [CSA]
Topic Mainstreaming energy efficiency finance - LC-SC3-EE-10-2018-2019-2020
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