1. About the European City Facility (EUCF)

1.1 What is the EUCF?

The European City Facility (EUCF) is an initiative, set up under the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation of the European Union, will provide tailor-made, rapid and simplified financial support (grants of EUR 60,000) and capacity building services to municipalities and local authorities across the EU Member states + the UK that will enable them to develop sound investment concepts and mobilise finance in the field of sustainable energy.

1.2 How does the EUCF support municipalities and local authorities??

The EUCF helps municipalities and local authorities to implement their energy and climate action plans by providing technical and financial support for the preparation of the Investment Concept (IC), which will enable municipalities and local authorities to mobilise financial resources. For detailed information on the EUCF journey, please refer to “Guidelines for Applicants” which are available on the EUCF website.

1.3 Who can apply for EUCF?

Municipalities and local authorities, as well as groupings of municipalities/local authorities, located in the European Union member states (EU-27) and the UK are able to apply to receive the EUCF support.

1.4 What kind of financial support do I receive from the EUCF?

Successful applicants receive financial support in the form of a EUR 60,000 grant for the development of the investment concept.

1.5 Are there any Case studies or examples of potential investment projects?

To provide some ideas about the potential measures relevant to the municipal energy efficiency projects, there are some case studies available on the EUCF website in the “Knowledge Hub” section, under Support menu.

1.6 What is the policy framework for eligible projects to be supported by the EUCF?

In 2019 the EU completed a comprehensive update of its energy policy framework to facilitate the transition away from fossil fuels towards cleaner energy and to deliver on the EU’s Paris Agreement commitments for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  The key EU-wide 2030 climate and energy targets include a binding 40% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, at least 32% share for renewable energy and at least 32.5% improvement in energy efficiency. The EU aims to be climate-neutral by 2050 – an economy with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.

The main policies supporting agreed EU policy framework is The Green Deal – a roadmap for making the EU's economy sustainable by turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities. The roadmap includes mainly actions to boost the efficient use of resources by moving to a clean, circular economy and restore biodiversity and cut pollution.

It is anticipated that many potential investment projects developed under the EUCF will be financed by the European Investment Bank that is why the EIB energy lending policy is also mentioned here. The EUCF has a clear position not to support investments in energy projects reliant on unabated fossil fuels, such as the production of oil and natural gas, traditional gas infrastructure, power generation technologies resulting in GHG emissions above 250 gCO2 per kWh of electricity generated, and large-scale heat production infrastructure based on unabated oil, natural gas, coal or peat.

The main supported projects are in the field of energy efficiency (e.g. in buildings and public lighting), energy supply (e.g. generation of power and heat from renewable energy sources), innovation and new types of energy infrastructure (e.g. electrification of transport) and enabling infrastructure (e.g. smart meters, upgrade of district heating and cooling infrastructure).

1.7 If a municipality has generally the financial means for their projects, is it possible to apply in order to reduce the cost for the development of the project and foster exchange and expertise?

Yes, the applicant might need technical expertise e.g. if internal capacities are missing, for the development of the Investment Concept, that can be paid through the EUCF.

1.8 What additional technical and capacity building support does the EUCF provide?

The EUCF provides municipalities and local authorities with different types of additional technical support activities along their journey within the EUCF:

  • National webinars, Info sessions and regional capacity building events in cooperation with National Networks and Country Experts are plannedbefore the opening of each call for applications.

  • Support from Country Experts in national language to assist beneficiaries of the EUCF with technical and financial expertise in the development of the investment concept. Applicants receive technical guidance from CEs in the preparation and submission of application, if required.

  • Support from the EUCF Helpdesk: The EUCF Helpdesk is available on the EUCF website for the general public, potential applicants and other interested parties to raise questions and obtain information from the EUCF team. Along the entire EUCF journey, the EUCF Helpdesk plays a fundamental role in providing technical support to applicants and beneficiaries of the EUCF.

  • Knowledge products and materials: Various knowledge tools and documents are provided on the EUCF website to facilitate the application and development process of the investment concept, such as Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), Glossary, Investment Concept template, Case Studies, etc.

A series ofcapacity- building workshops, to which successful beneficiaries (former EUCF beneficiaries, as well as beneficiaries of other facilities, ELENA, PDA, etc.) will be invited to run peer-to-peer training workshops. Successful investment concept municipalities can train unsuccessful applicants on how to become a beneficiary but also on how to develop an investment concept.

In order to maximise the financial leverage of individual projects and to aggregate opportunities by region and technology, Matchmaking events are planned to engage with the investor network at the local/ regional level but also across Europe and EU institutions

Communities of Practice will bring together supported Investment Concepts exploring similar technologies, covering similar technologies or sectors from different parts of Europe.

Access to EU pool of experts, hands- on tools and good practice examples will foster project standardisation and aggregation.

For detailed information on “what technical and capacity building support does the EUCF provide”, please refer to “Guidelines for Applicants” which is available on the EUCF website.

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