3. Eligibility check

3.1 Who is eligible to receive EUCF support?

EUCF applicants must comply with the following five eligibility criteria to be eligible for EUCF support:

1. Type of eligible applicants, EUCF applicants must comply with one of the following options:

2. Country of eligible applicants, EUCF applicants’ country must be one of the following options:

  • One of the EU-27 Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden;
  • The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland;
  • One of the EEA-EFTA States of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway NEW.

3. Existence of energy and climate plans, EUCF applicants must have a politically approved climate and energy plan fulfilling one of the following options:

  • Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP), Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP) developed within the Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy initiative, formally approved both by the local council (or equivalent decision-making body) and Joint Research Centre of the European Commission;
  • plan of similar ambition: a politically approved climate and energy plan with energy and climate targets at least for the year 2020.

4. Political commitment:

  •  EUCF applicants must be able to demonstrate political commitment to the project through a letter of support by the Mayor or by another relevant political representative.

5. Commitment to monitoring period:

  • EUCF applicants must demonstrate commitment to the monitoring period of two years after the final submission of the investment concept.

In order to move to the next stage of the application process, applicants must be able to answer YES to all of the above-mentioned requirements. The eligibility check can be done directly online. After completing the check, applicants are immediately informed about their results and next steps.

3.2 Where can I find the eligibility check?

The eligibility check is available on the EUCF website.

3.3 What does a plan of similar ambition have to include in order to be equivalent to a SEAP or SECAP?

Municipalities/ local authorities, groupings of municipalities/ local authorities, and local public entities aggregating municipalities/ local authorities  without a Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) or Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP), developed in the Covenant of Mayors framework are able to submit a politically approved energy/ climate plan of similar ambition. A plan of similar ambition is considered equivalent to a SEAP/SECAP if it is politically approved and includes energy and climate targets at least for the year 2020.

As part of the full application, SEAPs, SECAPs or plans of similar ambition need to be submitted together with the template for Annex A2– SEAP, SECAP or plan of similar ambition – Summary, to provide an overview of the main energy and climate targets established by the plan. While the plan can be submitted in national language, the summary must be filled in English.

3.3 What does a plan of similar ambition have to include in order to be equivalent to a SEAP or SECAP?

Municipalities/ local authorities, groupings of municipalities/ local authorities, and local public entities aggregating municipalities/ local authorities  without a Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) or Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP), developed in the Covenant of Mayors framework are able to submit a politically approved energy/ climate plan of similar ambition. A plan of similar ambition is considered equivalent to a SEAP/SECAP if it is politically approved and includes energy and climate targets at least for the year 2020.

As part of the full application, SEAPs, SECAPs or plans of similar ambition need to be submitted together with the template for Annex A2– SEAP, SECAP or plan of similar ambition – Summary, to provide an overview of the main energy and climate targets established by the plan. While the plan can be submitted in national language, the summary must be filled in English.

3.4 How can an applicant show political commitment?

In order to demonstrate political commitment to the development of the investment concept, the EUCF applicant must provide a letter of support, signed by the Mayor or other relevant political representative. The letter of support must be submitted together with the full application in English language. The template for Annex B is available on the EUCF website and must be used for submission.

3.5 Can SEAP or SECAP be submitted in national languages?

Yes, SEAP, SECAP or a plan of similar ambition can be submitted in the national language and there is no need for translating it into English.

3.6 Is SECAP or SEAP necessary for the EUCF application? Or could it be another low carbon strategy, for example based on local legislation?

Any other plan with similar ambitions in terms of sustainable energy and greenhouse gas emission reductions are eligible. Such plans must include energy and climate targets at least for the year 2020 and need to be politically approved. Please see also the Covenant of Mayors website for SECAP ambitions. In Annex A.2, applicants need to state when and by whom the plan of similar ambition was politically approved and provide an overview of the main energy/climate targets established.

3.7 Are regional energy plans (based on national law) eligible, as SECAPs are on city level?

Yes, regional energy plans are eligible provided they can be considered of ‘similar ambition’ and include  energy and climate targets at least for the year 2020. As for the submission of SEAPs and SECAPs, applicants need to state in Annex A.2 when and by whom the plan was politically approved and provide an overview of the main energy and climate targets established.

3.8 Which sectors are eligible?

Any sector in the field of sustainable energy e.g. energy efficiency and renewable energy are considered as eligible sectors for the EUCF grant.

3.9 Would an investment concept preparation for funding from national programme, including the EU structural funds, be eligible?

Yes, this is eligible. Municipalities and local authorities, groupings of municipalities/local authorities, and local public entities aggregating municipalities/local authorities can seek funding from local, national and international sources.

3.10 Are Public-private partnership (PPP) projects eligible, in which, for example, a contractor builds a heat network to supply municipality buildings?

The PPP can be an option for the implementation of the Investment Concept.

3.11 Could entities located in islands of the eligible countries apply for the EUCF?

Any municipalities/local authorities, groupings of municipalities/local authorities and local public entities aggregating municipalities/local authorities located on islands in the EU-27 Member States, EEA-EFTA States Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and the UK, are eligible for EUCF if they meet the Eligibility Criteria as described in 3.1” (see 3.1 in the document).

3.12 As energy agencies and experts, are we allowed applying on behalf of our municipalities?

No, energy agencies and other technical consultancy companies or entities working on behalf of municipalities cannot apply. The application is open exclusively to municipalities, local authorities, groupings of municipalities/local authorities and local public entities aggregating municipalities/local authorities. Through the EUCF grant, such entities may support the beneficiary  in providing technical expertise for the development of Investment Concepts.

3.13 How will I be informed about the result of the eligibility check?

You will see the result of the eligibility check on the screen as soon as you answer all questions. If you pass the check, you will be offered the registration to the EUCF website user zone.

3.14 Is there any population limit for municipalities/ local authorities, groupings or local public entities aggregating municipalities/local authorities to receive the EUCF grant?

No, there is no minimum or maximum population limit for municipalities/ local authorities to apply for the EUCF.

3.15 Is there a minimum leverage factor my project has to achieve?

No minimum leverage factor is required for the EUCF grant; however, the IC should be at least matching the EU’s ambitious energy and climate objectives.

3.16 What is the next steps after the eligibility check ?

After successfully passing the eligibility check, applicants fill a registration form and automatically receive per email the login details to access the EUCF website user zone. There, applicants can complete and submit the online application form together with the supporting documents.