Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Next-generation of Energy Performance Assessment and Certification

Topic identifier: LC-SC3-EE-5-2018-2019-2020
Publication date: 27 October 2017
Focus area: Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future (LC)

Types of action: IA Innovation action
Planned opening date:
12 March 2019
Deadline: 03 September 2019 17:00:00

Types of action: CSA Coordination and support action
Planned opening date:
25 January 2018
Deadline: 13 September 2018 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 Updates
  • 01 March 2018 12:48

     IMPORTANT - Page limits applicable to proposals

    Applicants are allowed to remove the page break in the cover page of the template for the technical annex, i.e. the proposal text can start on the cover page.

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive[1], all EU countries have established independent energy performance certification systems supported by independent mechanisms of control and verification. However, current practices and tools of energy performance assessment and certification applied across Europe face a number of challenges.

Assessment processes and certificates have to become more reliable, user-friendly, cost-effective, have comparable good quality and be compliant with EU legislation in order to instil trust in the market and incite investments in energy efficient buildings. They have to increasingly reflect the smart dimension of buildings and at the same time, facilitate convergence of quality and reliability of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) across the EU. The building energy performance methodologies should also ensure a technology neutral approach, be transparently presented making use of International and European standards, in particular the ISO/CEN standards developed under Commission mandate M/480[2] aimed at enabling the presentation of national and regional choices on a comparable basis.

Next-generation energy performance assessment schemes will value buildings in a holistic and cost-effective manner across several complimentary dimensions: envelope performances, system performances and smart readiness (i.e. the ability of buildings to be smartly monitored and controlled and, to get involved in demand-side management strategies). The assessment should be based on an agreed list of parameters/indicators, such as e.g. calculated annual final energy use, share of renewable energy used, past (climate corrected) final energy consumptions and energy expenditure, comfort levels or the level of smartness. The assessment methods should increasingly take into account output measures of performance (actual measured data) making use of available and increasing number of building energy related data from sensors, smart meters, connected devices etc.. These new schemes should contribute to improving the effectiveness of certificates, by demonstrating how these could be strengthened, modernised and best linked to integrated national/regional certification schemes within a framework that aids compliance checking and effectiveness of financial support.


2018 (Coordination and support action):

Proposals should involve relevant stakeholders (including national and regional certification bodies) to stimulate and enable the roll-out of next-generation of energy performance assessment and certification, with a view to achieve enhanced reliability, cost-effectiveness and compliance with relevant EU standards and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. Proposals should develop strategies to encourage convergence of EPC practices and tools across the EU so as to ensure a comparable level of high quality, independent control and verification. The applicability of assessment and the certification schemes should be assessed through a broad set of well-targeted and realistic cases, featuring various locations, building types, climatic conditions and field practices including existing national EPC schemes. The assessment will aim at demonstrating the potential of an EU-wide uptake of the proposed assessment and certification schemes, along well-defined criteria. Embedding the EPCs and their recommendations in broader concepts such as energy audits, wider-buildings related databases (e.g. national EPC databases, national housing surveys, EU Building Stock Observatory) and one-stop-shops including administrative, financial and supply side information and linking EPCs to related concepts such as buildings renovation passports, individual buildings renovation roadmaps or building logbooks should also be considered.

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.

2019 (Innovation action):

Proposals should address the definition and demonstration of innovative approaches for the assessment of building energy performance, focusing at first on the reliable assessment of building intrinsic performances (e.g. using inverse modelling) but working also towards output-based assessments using available building energy related data[3]. Proposals should involve relevant stakeholders (including national and regional certification bodies). The proposed approaches should be more reliable as well as cost-effective and compliant with relevant EU standards[4], in order to allow for an EU-wide deployment. Such approaches should rely on the combination of existing and proven technology components (starting from TRL 6-7, please see part G of the General Annexes) with well-structured methodologies and protocols that can lead to the definition of new certification schemes. They could also consider implications when using EPCs in building passports and renovation roadmaps.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 and 2.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

This topic contributes to the roadmap of the Energy-efficient Buildings (EeB) cPPP.

Expected Impact:

2018 (Coordination and support action):

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

  • Primary energy savings triggered by the project (in GWh/year);
  • Investments in sustainable energy triggered by the project (in million Euro);
  • Increased convergence of good quality and reliable energy performance assessment and certification and uptake and compliance with EU Directives and related standards;
  • Increased rate of application and compliance of EPCs and independent control systems with the provisions of EU and national legislation, in a defined region;
  • Increase of EPCs databases for compliance checking and verification, linking with financing schemes and building stock characteristics research etc.

2019 (Innovation action):

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

  • Improved user-friendliness of EPCs in terms clarity and accuracy of the information provided;
  • Enhanced user awareness of building energy efficiency;
  • Primary energy savings triggered by the project (in GWh/year);
  • Investments in sustainable energy triggered by the project (in 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.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Open Innovation
Contractual Public-Private Partnerships (cPPPs)

[1]Directive 2010/31/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 on the energy performance of buildings

[2]ISO/EN 52000-1, 520003-1, 520010-1, 52016-1, 52017-1, and 52018-1. 52022-1, EN 12098-1, EN 12098-3, EN 12098-5, EN 12831-1, EN 12831-3, EN 15232-1, EN 15316-1 , EN 15316-2, EN 15316-3, EN 15316-4-1, EN 15316-4-2 , EN 15316-4-3 , EN 15316-4-4, EN 15316-4-5, EN 15316-5, EN 15378-1, EN 15378-3, EN 15459-1, EN 15500-1, EN 16798-3, EN 16798-5-1, EN 16798-5-2, EN 16798-7, EN 16798-9, EN 16798-13, EN 16798-15, EN 16798-17, EN 16946-1, EN 16947-1, EN ISO 10077-1, EN ISO 10077-2, EN ISO 10211, EN ISO 12631, EN ISO 13370, EN ISO 13786, EN ISO 13789, EN ISO 14683 and EN ISO 6946, ISO/EN 52017-1 and ISO/EN 52022-1.

[3]The projects relevant for building energy data gathering and computing will be funded through: 1) large scale IoT pilot DT-ICT-10-2018: Interoperable and smart homes and grids; 2) big data pilot DT-ICT-11-2019: Big data solutions for energy.

[4]CEN standards (provide ref) and EN ISO 52000-1CEN (provide ref) standard, EN ISO 52000-1.

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):

Innovation Action:

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

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.

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

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.


Partner Search
Organisations are looking for collaborating partners for this topic
View/Edit Partner Search

LEARs, Account Administrators or self-registrants can publish partner requests for open and forthcoming topics after logging into the Participant Portal.

Submission Service

To access the Electronic Sumission Service, please click on the submission-button next to the type of action that corresponds to your proposal. You will then be asked to confirm your choice of the type of action and topic, as these cannot be changed in the submission system. Upon confirmation, you will be linked to the correct entry point.

To access existing draft proposals for this topic, please login to the Participant Portal and select the My Proposals page of the My Area section.

Get support

H2020 Online Manual is your guide on the procedures from proposal submission to managing your grant.

Participant Portal FAQ – Submission of proposals.

National Contact Points (NCP) - contact your NCP for further assistance in your national language(s).

Research Enquiry Service – ask questions about any aspect of European research in general and the EU Research Framework Programmes in particular.

Enterprise Europe Network – contact your EEN national contact for advice to businesses with special focus on SMEs. The support includes guidance on the EU research funding.

IT Helpdesk - contact the Participant Portal IT helpdesk for questions such as forgotten passwords, access rights and roles, technical aspects of submission of proposals, etc.

Ethics – for compliance with ethical issues, see the Online Manual and Science and Society Portal

European IPR Helpdesk assists you on intellectual property issues

CEN and CENELEC, the European Standards Organisations, advise you how to tackle standardisation in your project proposal. Contact CEN-CENELEC Research Helpdesk at

The European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for their recruitment

Partner Search Services help you find a partner organisation for your proposal.