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Call: Improving the performance of inefficient district heating networks

Type of Fund Action programme
Description of programme
"Horizon 2020 - Societal Challenges "
A challenge-based approach will bring together resources and knowledge across different fields, technologies and disciplines, including social sciences and the humanities. This will cover activities from research to market with a new focus on innovation-related activities, such as piloting, demonstration, test-beds, and support for public procurement and market uptake.
Funding focuses on the following challenges:
  • Health, demographic change and wellbeing;
  • Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research, and the Bioeconomy;
  • Secure, clean and efficient energy;
  • Smart, green and integrated transport;
  • Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials;
  • Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative and reflective societies;
  • Secure societies - protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens.
Link Link to Programme
Description of programme
"Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy"
This Sub-Programme is structured around seven specific objectives and research areas:
  • Reducing energy consumption and carbon footprint
  • Low-cost, low-carbon electricity supply
  • Alternative fuels and mobile energy sources
  • A single, smart European electricity grid
  • New knowledge and technologies
  • Robust decision making and public engagement
  • Market uptake of energy and ICT innovation.
Improving the performance of inefficient district heating networks
Description of call
"Improving the performance of inefficient district heating networks"

District heating's share on heat supply in Europe is about 12%, with some Member States and Associated Countries having a much higher share. In order to preserve existing heating networks and to increase their efficiency, successful approaches to diagnosing and retrofitting inefficient networks, including sustainable business and organisational models, have to be widely promoted and disseminated.

Actions are needed to accelerate the cost effective and energy efficient retrofitting existing, inefficient district heating networks.

Activities supported under this topic should replicate or develop successful technical, managerial, organisational and financial approaches and should lead to the initiation of concrete schemes that guarantee substantial primary energy savings and efficiency gains, including the use of renewable and residual sources of heat as appropriate. Proposals should engage and involve as necessary, those in charge of city networks, district heating companies, managers of buildings blocks, housing associations and other building owners/managers and end consumers. Proposals should also lead to the development of concrete regional or national action plans for the retrofitting of inefficient district heating networks.

As necessary, actions should consider interventions that are needed on the building side, e.g. retrofitting and / or modifications of internal heat distribution systems and system and end user controls. They should also take into account the evolution of thermal demand in the future due to improving building energy performance standards and increased rate of building renovations.

Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Research & Innovation, Technology Transfer & Exchange, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation, Circular Economy, Sustainability, Natural Resources, Climate, Climate Change, Environment & Biodiversity
Funding area EU Member States
Candidate Countries
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Iceland / Ísland
Norway / Norge
Switzerland / Schweiz / Suisse / Svizzera
Ukraine / Україна Oukraïna
Origin of Applicant EU Member States

Albania / Shqipëria
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Iceland / Ísland
Montenegro / Crna Gora/Црна Гора
North Macedonia / Северна Македонија
Norway / Norge
Serbia / Сpбија
Switzerland / Schweiz / Suisse / Svizzera
Turkey / Türkiye
Ukraine / Україна Oukraïna
Eligible applicants Education and Training Centres, Research Institution, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), NGO / NPO, Start Up Company, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Association
Project Partner Yes
Project Partner Details

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 ot her within the meaning of Article 8 of the Rules for Participation.

Recurring Call No
Type of Funding Grants
Financial details

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

Funding rate: 100%

Contact Details Link to the National Contact Point Finder.

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