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Call: Facing the increase in cooling demand of buildings in the coming years

Acronym LIFE-CET
Type of Fund Direct Management
Description of programme
"LIFE - sub-programme “Clean Energy Transition”"

The specific objectives of the sub-programme "Clean Energy Transition" are the following:

  • to develop, demonstrate and promote innovative techniques, methods and approaches for reaching the objectives of Union legislation and policy on the transition to sustainable renewable energy and increased energy efficiency, and to contribute to the knowledge base and to the application of best practice;
  • to support the development, implementation, monitoring and enforcement of relevant Union legislation and policy on the transition to sustainable renewable energy or increased energy efficiency, including by improving governance at all levels, in particular through enhancing capacities of public and private actors and the involvement of civil society;
  • to catalyse the large-scale deployment of successful technical and policy-related solutions for implementing relevant Union legislation on the transition to renewable energy or increased energy efficiency by replicating results, integrating related objectives into other policies and into public and private sector practices, mobilising investment and improving access to finance.

This sub-programme will fund the activities responding to the specific topics defined in the annual calls for proposals which are based on the list of priority topics. Other activities related to energy efficiency and renewable energy, which do not address the specific requirements of the calls defined under this sub-programme can be submitted to the calls under the Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation sub-programme.

The sub-programme will aim at facilitating the transition toward an energy-efficient, renewable energy-based, climate-neutral and -resilient economy by funding coordination and support actions across Europe. These actions aim at breaking market barriers that hamper the socio-economic transition to sustainable energy, typically engaging multiple small and medium-size stakeholders, multiple actors including local and regional public authorities and non-profit organisations, and involving consumers.

The sub-programme will contribute to the implementation of the energy-related actions of the European Green Deal, including the ‘Renovation wave’ initiative for the building sector and will give due consideration to territories not connected to the European grids such as the EU outermost regions. It will contribute to the Just Transition objectives by accompanying the territories and the groups of citizens negatively affected by the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy, by building capacity of actors and fostering clean energy investments, mainly in energy efficiency and locally available, sustainable, renewable energy sources. Activities related to technology development will not be included.

A significant part of this budget will be used to finance Coordination and Support Actions (CSA) under OAs grants for the four year period, whereas the possibility to finance SAPs is only foreseen as from 2023.

It will cover the following areas of intervention:

  • Building a national, regional and local policy framework supporting the clean energy transition:

Increasing coherence of energy transition governance at different levels by enhancing multi-stakeholder dialogue and building the capacity of public authorities to deliver under the national energy and climate plans and/or other plans and strategies (e.g. just transition plans, long-term renovation strategies, strategies for the electrification of the transport system). Supporting the development and effective implementation of clean energy policies, including the relevant Union legislation on products and energy consumers, in the EU and third countries. Supporting actions that put into practice the enabling provisions included in the European legislation on clean energy.

  • Accelerating technology roll-out, digitalisation, new services and business models and enhancement of the related professional skills on the market for the clean energy transition:

Providing support for the decarbonisation of the buildings, industry and tertiary sectors, by fostering market uptake of innovative solutions, including digitalization and circular design in line with the climate neutrality target. Accelerating the clean energy transition by enabling the development of new added-value services and innovative business models. The roll-out of technologies and innovative solutions needs to be accompanied by measures addressing market barriers including support to the development and deployment of new skills and frameworks (labels, certificates, technological and non-technological standards, e.g. for interoperability, etc.).

  • Attracting private finance for sustainable energy:

To upscale investments in sustainable energy, different capital flows need to be made available by addressing both supply and demand of finance, and by using public funds effectively. Supply side activities include: data collection, methodology and evidence-based risk management; harmonisation of definition and measuring of sustainable investments; development of innovative financing mechanisms, products, services and practices; standardisation and aggregation of projects and investments; simplification of the process for investors; capacity building and dialogue. Activities should contribute to EU policy and legislation in the field of sustainable finance.

  • Supporting the development of local and regional investment projects:

Build capacity of local public authorities and private investors, notably community collective investors. Facilitate dialogue with the financial sector to deliver sustainable energy investments, including tailored actions contributing to a fair society and to a just energy transition in EU regions most dependent on fossil fuels or carbon intensive processes. Promote public procurement of energy and resource efficient works, supplies and services. Support tailored approaches for local actors to develop investment concepts, implement organisational innovations and aggregate projects. Improve market conditions and develop new integrated services offers for sustainable energy in buildings, transport, ports, and SMEs.

  • Involving and empowering citizens in the clean energy transition:

Support citizens in taking an active role in the clean energy transition, including targeted support for collective actions, community and citizen-led initiatives and development of new energy services and social innovations. Strengthen collaboration between local authorities and citizen-led initiatives. Support actions that contribute to alleviate energy poverty. Foster energy literacy and sustainable energy behaviour of citizens, in particular younger generations.

Link Link to Programme
Facing the increase in cooling demand of buildings in the coming years
Description of call
"Facing the increase in cooling demand of buildings in the coming years"


Taking into account that almost 50% of Union’s final energy consumption is used for heating and cooling, of which 80% is used in buildings modernising the heating and cooling systems of buildings is essential to decarbonise the EU building stock, to deploy local renewable energy potential and to reduce the EU’s dependence on imported fossil fuels.

Due to the higher temperatures encountered during the last years and changes in lifestyles and expectations with regard to thermal indoor comfort, the cooling needs of buildings have considerably risen and are expected to further rise. According to IEA, cooling is the fastest growing use of energy in buildings and without ambitious action in the field of cooling, the energy demand for space cooling will more than triple by 2050.

The growing demand for cooling needs to be tackled from two angles and in the spirit of the Energy Efficiency First principle, notably by conceptualising and implementing integrated solutions that drive down the cooling need of a building without compromising comfort on the one hand; by matching the demand by best available and renewable space cooling technologies on the other hand, which are well adapted to the different building types and needs.

This topic thus aims to support actions that complement and inform existing assessments and strategies on cooling, notably through a bottom-up analysis and taking into account local factors. Moreover, the topic aims to support approaches and activities that will contribute to ensuring that integrated cooling solutions are considered in public and private decision-making, planning, design and implementation processes.


The proposed actions are expected to provide an improved and comprehensive understanding of the cooling demand in buildings and to develop appropriate strategies on how this demand could be most effectively managed and met in a sustainable way, i.e. by reducing demand, improving energy efficiency and increasing the share of renewable energy.

Actions under this topic should, through a bottom-up approach, complement existing assessments, roadmaps and strategies, starting from the local context while deriving meaningful conclusions for the national and European level. For example, it should give insights into the typical potentials, conditions and use patterns for sustainable heating and cooling in a local context, which would be an important aspect for Member States’ reporting, notably under the National Climate and Energy Plans (NECPs) and for the Comprehensive assessments under Article 14 of the Energy Efficiency Directive.

More specifically, actions under this topic should:

  • contribute to a better understanding of state-of-the-art cooling technologies in buildings, both as decentralised (or individual) or as part of centralised systems[[COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION (EU) 2019/1659 of 25 September 2019 on the content of the comprehensive assessment of the potential for efficient heating and cooling under Article 14 of Directive 2012/27/EU
  • contribute to a better understanding of measures to reduce cooling demand, including improving the overall energy performance of the building, inter alia by making use of active building technologies, such as active shading, automation and control systems
  • take stock of and provide a cost-benefit analysis of the proposed solutions
  • cover residential and non-residential buildings while paying particular attention to residential buildings, in particular with regard to thermal comfort and consider aspects such as lifestyle and user behaviour
  • make the link to the neighbourhood level and consider aspects of local and urban planning as well as aspects related to the local grids, e.g. distributed electricity networks.
  • identify key actors responsible for planning and implementing cooling solutions (municipalities, urban planners, architects, Energy Service Companies (ESCOs)/ engineering companies, energy advisers, installers etc.) and develop methodologies which ensure that these actors consider best available technologies, integrated and holistic solutions and that cooling needs are met in an optimal and integrated way.

Moreover, actions should:

  • identify a set of tailored solutions and services for cooling, such as services that involve integrated designs and planning, or effective implementation of integrated/ holistic solutions (such as combination of innovative cooling technologies and active building elements) as well as solutions that involve multi-apartment and/or a group of buildings
  • develop recommendations for policy makers, regulatory bodies, planners and industry and business representations (e.g. chambers of commerce) at different levels; these recommendations should be in line with existing policy instruments and specifically build on provisions as established under the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, the Smart Readiness Indicator framework, product legislation and (local) governance.
  • propose methodologies which facilitate existing financing schemes, notably public funds, e.g. at national level, to take into account cooling needs and measures to reduce cooling demand and deploy best available cooling technologies

Proposals should establish a solid evidence base. The data and the approaches to be developed should be endorsed by relevant market stakeholders across the whole value chain.

The proposed solutions and approaches, both technological (e.g. integration of technologies to reduce cooling demand and provide thermal comfort) and non-technological, should be subject to an element of validation. This can include testing of key aspects of the solutions in a real environment (e.g. existing buildings) and/or simulation. It should take into account factors influencing the effectiveness and suitability of the approach, and in any case consider the neighbourhood dimension and the overall local context.

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

Expected Impact:

  • Better understanding of the cooling demand of buildings in the EU including measures to reduce cooling demand and improving the overall energy performance of the building
  • Better understanding of the impact of growing cooling demand on the neighbourhood level and local grids
  • Increased up-take and use of integrated solutions and services by market actors
  • Up-take and consideration of integrated solutions inside renovation schemes and financing instruments, notably at national level
  • Improved reporting under the National Climate and Energy Plans (NECPs) and for the Comprehensive assessments under Article 14 of Directive 2012/27/EU
  • Improved accuracy and meaningfulness of demand side models
  • Primary energy savings/Renewable energy generation triggered by the project (in GWh/year)
  • Investments in sustainable energy triggered by the project (cumulative, in million Euro)
Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Green Technologies & Green Deal, Climate, Climate Change, Environment & Biodiversity, Circular Economy, Sustainability, Natural Resources, Clustering, Development Cooperation, Economic Cooperation, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation, Digitisation, ICT, Telecommunication
Funding area EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Albania / Shqipëria
Iceland / Ísland
Israel / ישראל / إسرائيل
Turkey / Türkiye
Ukraine / Україна Oukraïna
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Albania / Shqipëria
Iceland / Ísland
Israel / ישראל / إسرائيل
Turkey / Türkiye
Ukraine / Україна Oukraïna
Eligible applicants Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, Research Institution, Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, International Organization, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Education and Training Centres, Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), NGO / NPO, Public Services, Other, National Government, Start Up Company, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Association
Applicant details

In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must:

  • be legal entities (public or private bodies)
  • be established in one of the eligible countries, i.e.:
    • EU Member States (including overseas countries and territories (OCTs))
    • non-EU countries:
      • listed EEA countries and countries associated to the LIFE Programme (participating countries) or countries which are in ongoing negotiations for an association agreement and where the agreement enters into force before grant signature
  • the coordinator must be established in an eligible country
Project Partner Yes
Project Partner Details

Proposals must be submitted by at least 3 applicants (beneficiaries; not affiliated entities) from 3 different eligible countries.

Entities from other countries are exceptionally eligible, if the granting authority considers their participation essential for the implementation of the action (see work programme).

Natural persons are NOT eligible (with the exception of self-employed persons, i.e. sole traders, where the company does not have legal personality separate from that of the natural person).

International organisations are eligible. The rules on eligible countries do not apply to them.

Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees for the protection of the EU financial interests equivalent to that offered by legal persons34.

EU bodies (with the exception of the European Commission Joint Research Centre) can NOT be part of the consortium.

Entities composed of members may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. Please note that if the action will be implemented by the members, they should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible).

Beneficiaries from countries with ongoing negotiations may participate in the call and can sign grants if the negotiations are concluded before grant signature (with retroactive effect, if provided in the agreement).

Special rules apply for certain entities (e.g. entities subject to EU restrictive measures under Article 29 of the Treaty on the European Union (TEU) and Article 215 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) and entities covered by Commission Guidelines No 2013/C 205/0537). Such entities are not eligible to participate in any capacity, including as beneficiaries, affiliated entities, associated partners, subcontractors or recipients of financial support to third parties (if any).

Further info

Proposal page limits and layout:

Proposals must be complete and contain all the requested information and all required annexes and supporting documents:

  • Application Form Part A — contains administrative information about the participants (future coordinator, beneficiaries and affiliated entities) and the summarised budget for the project (to be filled in directly online)
  • Application Form Part B — contains the technical description of the project (to be downloaded from the Portal Submission System, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded)
  • Part C (to be filled in directly online) containing additional project data
  • mandatory annexes and supporting documents (to be uploaded):
    • detailed budget table (mandatory excel template available in the Submission System)
    • participant information (mandatory template available in the Submission System)
  • optional annexes: letters of support

Page limit - Part B: 70 pages

Type of Funding Grants
Financial details

Topic budget: EUR 4,000,000.00

Funding rate for Coordination and Support Actions: up to 95%
Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System. Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Contact Details

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