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Call: Addressing building related interventions for vulnerable districts

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
Addressing building related interventions for vulnerable districts
Description of call
"Addressing building related interventions for vulnerable districts"


The topic aims to alleviate energy poverty by addressing the poor energy efficiency of dwellings, as a key risk factor causing energy poverty (the other two being low incomes and high energy expenditure). Buildings are still responsible for 40% of Europe’s total energy consumption, and too many Europeans struggle to afford the energy bills for their poorly insulated dwellings with polluting heating/cooling systems. In accordance with the Clean Energy for All Europeans package, Member States, through their National Energy and Climate Plans and Long-Term Renovation Strategies (LTRS), must identify dwellings of people at risk of energy poverty and develop effective strategies for renovating these as a matter of priority. The Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU) (EED), as amended by Directive 2018/2002/EU, requires Member States to take into account the need to reduce energy poverty in the context of their energy efficiency obligations. In addition, the revised EPBD requires Member States to target the least efficient building stock first (“worst first” principle), and address split-incentive dilemmas and market failures as part of the national LTRS. At the same time, the European Green Deal sets out to ensure an energy transition that is socially just and inclusive, with the Renovation Wave as its centrepiece. This is also supported by e.g. the Commission Recommendation on Energy Poverty.

In addition to tackling high bills and energy use, this topic aims to address the many negative impacts low quality building stock has on residents, including poorer health and lower levels of social inclusion. Transforming inefficient housing stock addresses a root cause of energy poverty, however, the topic also has as an objective to tackle the related high upfront costs, lack of information and trust, uncertainty about benefits of the measures, split incentives, and discomfort caused by renovation works, including the potential need to relocate, as barriers to household uptake.


Proposed actions should facilitate the market uptake of renovation approaches for the large-scale rollout of building-related interventions for vulnerable districts, clusters of buildings, or groups of such buildings managed through common building management or housing/home-owners associations (e.g. social housing), in line with the Renovation Wave and the Commission Recommendation on Energy Poverty.

Approaches can involve traditional public mechanisms, and/or alternative models with blended financing and can focus on the private rented sector, social housing, multifamily buildings, or owner-occupied housing. To maximise energy savings, occupant behaviour and residents' buy-in should be considered from early stages of the process and all actions should be coupled by accompanying measures to adapt residents' post-intervention energy use behaviour, through e.g. community engagement campaigns, advice, or trainings.

Proposed actions should focus on lowering the cost of renovation (including over the building lifecycle), reducing delivery time, and minimising disturbance for building occupants. In case of rental properties, actions should help ensure that tenants’ rent levels are maintained after renovation works are completed and relocation of tenants and district gentrification after works is avoided.

The solutions should include already proven measures for deep renovation, such as building envelope insulation, replacement/improvement of the technical building systems, and window replacement, etc.

The approaches should be one or a combination of the following, and could also include renewable energy solutions, where appropriate:

  • Roll out holistic, industrialised deep renovation solutions, including also approaches based on pre-fabricated modules, where appropriate
  • Develop and implement roadmaps of energy efficiency measures that can be conducted step by step, starting with those with the shortest payback period to act as a further incentive (e.g. starting by replacing the heating/cooling systems, or by insulating the envelope, etc.). Roadmaps can be prepared by e.g. local authorities, or social/societal actors and should involve regular communication and engagement with all relevant stakeholders. Low-cost measures that can be quickly applied can also form a small, complementary part of such roadmaps (e.g. draught proofing, introducing shading elements, radiator reflective foils). These roadmaps should prevent lock-in effects and can be e.g. based on the renovation recommendations included in Energy Performance Certificates. At a minimum, the actions are expected to put in place the framework for implementation before the end of the proposed action, including securing sufficient financing and commitment of all relevant actors
  • Develop and implement roadmaps of energy efficiency measures that can be conducted step by step for social housing organisations to address the specific needs of their own building stock and residents. These should involve regular communication and engagement with all relevant stakeholders. Low-cost measures that can be quickly applied can also form a small, complementary part of such roadmaps (e.g. draught proofing, introducing shading elements, radiator reflective foils). At a minimum, the actions are expected to put in place the framework for implementation before the end of the proposed action, including securing sufficient financing and commitment of all relevant actors.

Proposed actions should highlight the multiple benefits from renovation for different vulnerable target groups, such as improved health, comfort, air quality, better social inclusion etc. The actions should also take into account Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approaches, in order to minimise carbon emissions.

The proposed actions should build on existing initiatives and involve local authorities and intermediaries such as tenants/homeowners/landlord/housing associations, social and societal actors, or renewable energy communities or citizen energy communities, as relevant.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 1.75 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:

Impacts under this topic are expected to be demonstrated for energy poor households specifically.

  • Number of buildings renovated
  • Demonstration of the effectiveness and replicability of the proposed solutions among energy poor households
  • Number of roadmaps created
  • Number of energy poor consumers impacted
  • Multiple benefits, such as improved mental and physical health, comfort and indoor environment, better indoor air quality, improved social inclusion, reduced public health expenditure
  • 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)
  • Indicators for measuring energy poverty
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
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 5,500,000.00

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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