Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Innovative financing schemes

Topic identifier: EE-23-2017
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: CSA Coordination and support action
Opening date:
19 January 2017
Deadline: 07 June 2017 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Topic Updates
  • 24 May 2017 18:09

    Description of projects launched under the H2020 EE Call 2016 are now available in the H2020 Energy Efficiency Data Hub:!vM67rD

  • 30 January 2017 16:13


    The content of the topic update dated 17 March 2016 at 14:00 on topic EE-23 (Innovative financing schemes) is incorrect and must not be taken into consideration.
    The topic description to be taken into consideration is the one from the Work Programme, following its revision on 25 July 2016 ( and which is presented in the topic description below.

  • 17 March 2016 14:00

    H2020 2016-17 Work Programme update (European Commission Decision C(2016)1349 of 9 March 2016)

    In the section "Specific challenge" the text "and include for example replication of previously demonstrated successful financing models such as dedicated credit lines, guarantee facilities, on-bill financing schemes (e.g. utility-financed), or factoring/forfaiting schemes; on-bill or on-tax financing schemes citizen financing (e.g. crowd-funding) for energy efficiency;" has been updated to "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;".

Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

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.


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.

Expected Impact:

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.
Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.
    Note also that 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 (follow the links to Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong & Macau, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan).

  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme. The following exceptions apply, 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*. The following additional eligibility criteria apply:
    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
    3. all three legal entities shall be independent of each other within the meaning of Article 8 of the Rules for Participation.
    * Transition towards Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy and the Energy Union project are cross-national policy initiatives and priorities aiming at trans-national solutions.

    Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.
  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme

    3.2 Submission and evaluation process: Guide to the submission and evaluation process

  4. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:

    Information on the outcome of single-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.
  5. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    Coordination and Support Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template (call specific templates must be downloaded from the electronic submission system)
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 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.

    Financial support to Third Parties – where a topic description foresees financial support to Third Parties, these provisions apply.

  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.

    - 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:

    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Introduction
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Secure, clean and efficient energy
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: General Annexes
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 - Regulation of Establishment
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme 
Additional documents

  • Flash call info_en en

Submission Service

No submission system is open for this topic.

Get support

H2020 Online Manual your online 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.

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

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.

EASME Energy Unit:

– for compliance with ethical issues, see the Participant Portal and Science and Society Portal

European IPR Helpdesk
assists you on intellectual property issues

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