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Call key data

Supporting the clean energy transition of the business sector

Funding Program

LIFE - sub-programme “Clean Energy Transition”

Call number




16.11.2022 17:00

Funding rate

95 %

Call budget

€ 6,000,000.00

Link to the call

Link to the submission

Call content

short description

Accelerating the transition of EU companies towards a sustainable growth model is one of the ambitious objectives of the European Green Deal, as they face various barriers that deter energy efficiency measures. In 2019, the industry and services sectors made up almost 40% of the total EU-27 final energy consumption (respectively accounting for 25.6% and 13.7%). Moreover, in line with the REPowerEU plan to phase out EU dependence on fossil fuels imports, facilitating the clean energy transition of EU companies through a larger uptake of energy audits and collaborative approaches has the potential to sensibly reduce EU fuels imports.

Call objectives

In the last years, energy audits proved to be a valid instrument to tackle the information gap that is one of the main barriers to implement energy efficiency measures in companies. To this end, Article 8 of the Energy Efficiency Directive played a key role in promoting energy audits in the Member States. However, as highlighted in a recent study published by CINEA, the actual energy savings achieved by companies following an energy audit still remain limited. Additional barriers to overcome may include limited finance, human resources and expertise. One of the enabling factors that can play a positive role in the uptake of energy audits recommendations is the facilitation of structured support services tailored to the specificities of companies. In fact, depending on the market sector, energy intensity, size and/or territory, they may require different support to be able to implement efficiency measures and, where relevant, move to renewable energy sources. International and European standards on energy audits and competences of energy auditors can also play a positive role in ensuring that energy audits are of high quality and that their recommendations can be conveyed as a strategic proposition to management.

Furthermore, as highlighted also in the New Industrial Strategy, the achievement of climate-neutrality by 2050 will require a full mobilisation and deeper cooperation among all players operating across the different value chains. Exposure to energy prices, increased global competition as well as potential transition risks linked to changing regulation, market demand and buyers/suppliers procurement criteria are increasing pressure on EU companies. In order to increase resilience, competitiveness and market attractiveness, companies should increasingly operate in sustainable value chains both at local, national and European level.

The overall objective of this topic is to boost the market uptake of cost-effective energy efficiency measures and where relevant renewables and heat pumps among EU companies by means of implementing energy audits suggested measures OR through the engagement into sustainable value chain business models.

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Expected effects and impacts

Proposals should address one of the two scopes below. The scope addressed should be clearly specified in the proposal's introduction.

Scope A: Foster a favourable energy audits ecosystem

This scope sets out to foster the energy audits ecosystem in order to support the implementation by companies of cost-effective measures recommended by energy audits.

Proposals should have a clear focus on one of the following issues:

  • Uptake of energy audits recommendations. Proposals should deliver integrated support services tailored to each participating company (e.g. energy scan and/or detailed energy audit where not available, non-energy benefits quantification, investment concept development, access to public/private finance, technical advisory, follow-up) in order to implement short, medium or long-term recommended measures as identified in the energy audit. At local level, where relevant, proposals should also envisage operational support to groups of companies (e.g. project aggregation and development, relevant sector/local benchmarks, joint procurement activities, contact with ESCOs and private investors).
  • High-quality energy audits. In line with the proposed provisions of the recast EED, proposals should support the improvement of the national and European frameworks for energy audits. This includes minimum criteria reflecting best practices, taking into account non-energy benefits and supporting investment decisions, but also certification and/or equivalent qualification schemes for energy auditors as well as suitable training programmes based on a robust skills gap analysis at country level. Control mechanisms and monitoring/follow-up systems for the quality of audits as well as centralisation and harmonisation of data from the audits should also be considered, like for instance the creation of energy audits databases at national, regional or local level. Activities should involve national organisations in charge of energy audits (e.g. energy agencies), professional and accreditation bodies, and other relevant stakeholders. In addition to the design of recommendations, proposals are encouraged to start implementation within the action’s duration.

In addition to tackling one of the above issues, proposals could also address the enhancement of corporate energy culture to facilitate the uptake of energy audits recommendations and subsequent measures. Activities should trigger a behaviour change at corporate level by presenting the business relevance of implementing concrete measures such as sustainable procurement criteria, green management and intrapreneurship, internal bottom-up green initiatives, energy management systems with clear energy performance improvement.

Scope B: Unlock the energy efficiency and renewable potential at value chain level

Proposals under this scope should foster the market uptake of energy efficiency measures including, wherever relevant, the use of renewables and the deployment of heat pumps at the value chain level.

Proposals are expected to carry out activities aiming at triggering interest, awareness, knowledge and know-how (e.g. through the organization of roundtables at sector or territorial level) on the multiple benefits achievable from collaborative approaches between large and small companies operating in the same value chain (e.g. operational/transaction costs reduction, mitigation of energy-related risks, easier access to finance, stronger value proposition).

Furthermore, applicants are requested to identify, investigate and validate economically viable business models (based on the concrete interaction of participating companies) proving the relevance of a value chain approach in terms of value creation for each involved actor (e.g. buyers/suppliers/final users) as well as in addressing the untapped potential of energy efficiency and renewables at each step of the process (upstream to downstream).

The proposed activities are to be focused on engaging companies operating in the same value chain; the involvement of additional relevant stakeholders (e.g. industrial organisations, multipliers, financial players, ESCOs, public authorities) should be envisaged to maximise the spillover effect of value chain approaches at local, national and European level. Proposals should demonstrate a high degree of replicability and include a clear action plan to communicate experiences, critical success factors and results towards relevant value chain’s actors and stakeholders across the EU.

Additionally, benchmarking mechanisms and monitoring systems, focusing on the energy use at value chain level, could be developed to support the formulation of policy/regulatory recommendations aiming at speeding up the clean energy transition of the business sector towards the EU’s 2030 and 2050 climate and energy objectives.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 1.5 million would allow the specific objectives to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

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Expected results

Proposals should result in an increased uptake of cost-effective energy efficiency measures and renewables within the industry and services sectors.

Only for scope A: Proposals should result in an improved effectiveness and notably cost-effectiveness of energy audits in delivering investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, thanks to increased uptake of energy audits recommended measures and, as relevant, higher quality energy audits, harmonised certification and accreditation schemes for auditors, improved monitoring of energy audits. Proposals should contribute to a better implementation of Art. 8 of the Energy Efficiency Directive.

Proposals should quantify their impacts using the indicators listed below, where relevant, as well as other project-specific performance indicators:

  • Energy audits measures implemented by companies and related energy efficiency investments.
  • Companies benefitting from direct support.
  • Company staff with improved skills/knowledge.
  • Contribution to a better implementation of Art. 8 of the EED.
  • National frameworks improved.

Only for scope B: Proposals should demonstrate the relevance of value chain approaches to increase sustainability, resilience and competitiveness among companies; demonstrate the economic viability of collaborative approaches to greening value chains; make available to market actors data evidence on value chain energy use; propose benchmarks and standards as well as regulatory and policy improvements.

Proposals should quantify their impacts using the indicators listed below, where relevant, as well as other project-specific performance indicators:

  • Number of market stakeholders with improved skills/knowledge/awareness/know-how on the role of sustainable value chains in promoting the clean energy transition of the business sector.
  • Number of companies and value chains involved in the exploration of energy collaborations.

For both scope A and B: Proposals should quantify their impacts using the indicators listed below:

  • Primary energy savings triggered by the project (in GWh/year).
  • Renewable energy generation triggered by the project (in GWh/year).
  • Investments in sustainable energy triggered by the project (cumulative, in million Euro).

The impacts of the proposals should be demonstrated during the project and within 5 years after the project lifetime.

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Eligibility Criteria

Regions / countries for funding

EU Member States, Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT)
Albania (Shqipëria), Andorra, Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Iceland (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна)

eligible entities

Education and training institution, International organization, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)

Mandatory partnership


Project Partnership

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

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:
      • please see the List of Participating Countries in LIFE for an up-to-date list of countries with which the association agreements have started to produce legal effects (either through provisional application or their entry into force).
  • the coordinator must be established in an eligible country

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.

Additional information


Administration & Governance, Institutional Capacity & Cooperation, 
Air Quality, Biodiversity & Environment, Climate & Climate Change, Water quality & management, 
Circular Economy, Natural Resources, 
Competitiveness of Enterprises, Employment/Labour Market, SME & entrepreneurship, 
Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy

UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)

Additional Information

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 and the summarised budget for the project
  • Application Form Part B — contains the technical description of the project
  • Part C containing additional project data
  • mandatory annexes and supporting documents:
    • detailed budget table
    • participant information
  • optional annexes: letters of support

Page limit - Part B: 65 pages

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