LIFE is the EU’s funding programme dedicated to the environment and climate action.
This call supports actions alleviating energy poverty and energy vulnerability.
The European Green Deal sets out to ensure an energy transition that is socially just and inclusive. In accordance with the Fit for 55 package, and in particular the revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) as proposed, Member States shall implement energy efficiency improvement measures as a priority among energy poor and vulnerable households. These households should be prioritised in the implementation of energy savings obligations, with the option of requiring obligated parties to achieve a share of their energy savings obligation among vulnerable customers and to work together with local authorities to do so. In addition, the proposed EED (recast) underlines the need to address the split incentive dilemma and remove barriers to energy efficiency measures in multi-owner properties. Finally, the REPowerEU Plan and the EU Save Energy Communication63 highlight the role of immediate behaviour changes by households to reduce energy bills.
In this context, efforts should focus on offering support to build the concrete skills and capacity of vulnerable households to afford their energy bills and ensure adequate comfort levels, as well as supporting relevant actors, including public authorities, in designing longer-term strategies and frameworks to mitigate energy poverty at the sub-national levels, including dedicated financing schemes specifically addressing energy performance improvements for energy poor households. As obligated parties under energy efficiency obligation schemes have potentially at their disposal the necessary data and means to identify energy vulnerability among their customers, supporting the obligated parties is needed in order to spread such schemes across the EU.
Actions should contribute to actively alleviating energy poverty and energy vulnerability and build on the tools, indicators and resources of existing initiatives, such as the Energy Poverty Advisory Hub or the energy poverty pillar of Covenant of Mayors. The proposed action should cover one or more of the following aspects:
- Support the renovation of private multi-apartment buildings with vulnerable residents, with a special focus on reinforcing and adapting the governance and decision-making structures of building management and homeowners associations, tackling related regulatory framework barriers (e.g. property and/or rental laws), split incentives (where relevant), and setting up and coordinating relevant support services. The renovation actions supported should take into account the ability of residents to remain in their homes to avoid gentrification.
- Design and pilot sustainable, large-scale programmes to improve the skills and capacity of energy vulnerable households with a view to improving household energy efficiency and/or increasing the uptake of renewable energy solutions, thereby lowering household energy bills and improving comfort, and empowering vulnerable and energy poor consumers to take actively part in the energy market. These programmes should be tailored for vulnerable households and may include the provision of feedback67, energy efficiency measures (e.g. draught proofing, simple insulation measures, or optimisation of existing building technology systems), financial support schemes, or collective solutions (e.g. group purchases, collective self-consumption/energy sharing schemes, peer to peer trading). These actions should be embedded in, and add value to, structural frameworks and activities involving public authorities, societal intermediaries or other relevant actors. A key element of the proposed activities should be the development of a strategy ensuring that the programmes will be sustained after the end of the project, linking to available sources of funding.
- Facilitate the delivery of capacity-building for regional and/or local authorities and societal intermediaries and support these actors in setting up cross-sectoral coordination structures to address energy poverty and vulnerability. This capacity-building should ultimately lead to the relevant actors co-designing and rolling out integrated interventions and support schemes for the benefit of vulnerable households. The actors involved are expected to represent all relevant sectors (e.g. energy, social, health, and housing) to ensure a holistic participatory approach to the alleviation of energy vulnerability in the long term and to improve social cohesion.
- Support obligated parties in setting up and testing schemes for energy efficiency improvement measures for the benefit of vulnerable households under the energy efficiency obligation schemes of the proposed EED (recast), including, where applicable, working together with local authorities or municipalities, and/or relevant networks such as the Covenant of Mayors. It is expected that obligated parties, in particular, are either directly involved or their support is clearly demonstrated in the proposal.
In order to be eligible, the applicants (beneficiaries and affiliated entities) must be legal entities (public or private bodies) and 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 (associated countries) or countries which are in ongoing negotiations for an association agreement and where the agreement enters into force before grant signature.
Proposals must be submitted by at least 3 applicants (beneficiaries; not affiliated entities) from 3 different eligible countries.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 1.5 to 2 million would allow the specific objectives to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.