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Call: Towards an effective implementation of key legislation in the field of sustainable energy

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
Towards an effective implementation of key legislation in the field of sustainable energy
Description of call
"Towards an effective implementation of key legislation in the field of sustainable energy"


The EU Clean Energy Package resulted in a comprehensive framework of energy legislation which placed the consumer at the centre of the energy system and which paved the way for a more sustainable way of energy production, distribution and consumption. It included, inter alia, a review of the Energy Efficiency Directive, the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive and the Renewable Energy Directive and, with the Regulation on the Governance of the Energy Union and Climate Action, put in place a new system of integrated reporting.

With the European Green Deal, the Commission raised the level of ambition further, and a whole set of measures have been proposed, including the revision of energy and climate legislation by June and December 2021 respectively as well as the flagship initiative to steer public and private funding towards renovation projects with the biggest societal gains, the Renovation Wave.

The EU legislative framework sets out requirements that need to be implemented by Member States and thus be adapted to the respective national context; the provisions are by nature very specific and technical, and adequate implementation requires a high level of technical capacity and resources. While the legislative framework offers a good amount of flexibility to Member States to design the policy measures according to their needs and framework conditions, accurate monitoring, projecting and evaluation are essential elements of implementation. Importantly, the legislation is strongly interrelated and needs to be implemented and reported in an integrated, consistent way.

In addition, energy and non-energy sectors are increasingly interlinked, which has been recognised in the European Green Deal and is reflected in two new initiatives, the EU Strategy for Energy System Integration and the Hydrogen Strategy. This also means that Member States authorities need to build up additional cross-sectoral expertise.

With these challenges in mind, the topic aims to support the implementation of the main pieces of legislation in the field of sustainable energy, notably of the Energy Efficiency Directive (Scope A), the Renewable Energy Directive (Scope B) and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (Scope C). Moreover, it aims to contribute to the development and use of integrated approaches to effectively implement provisions across Energy Legislation (Scope D). Finally, it aims to support the implementation of the EU Strategy for Energy System Integration (Scope E)

Under the call 2021, proposals are invited for the Scopes A and B, i.e. proposals for actions to support the implementation of:

  • the Energy Efficiency Directive (Scope A) and of
  • the Renewable Energy Directive (Scope B)


Actions under this topic are expected to:

  • Promote and enable exchange of insights and sharing of best practices within and across Member States
  • Provide support, technical advice and tools for contextualisation and specification of requirements, in general and according to the national and regional context
  • Scope, assess and model the impact of implementation options to comply with EU legislative requirements, thereby contributing to the design of more effective policies
  • Support the monitoring and evaluation of policy implementation
  • Develop and apply methodologies to more accurately measure, calculate and account for contributions made under the specific policy measures and programmes
  • Collect and analyse energy consumption data across sectors; monitor efficiency trends and show their implications for society, markets and technologies
  • Develop and support integrated methodologies for areas and sectors that are addressed by different policies and pieces of legislation, notably approaches for integrated collection of data, calculation/accounting, verification, monitoring, evaluation and reporting
  • Monitor and model energy and non-energy impacts of integrated solutions; gather data for the energy and buildings sector.

Scope A - Support for the implementation of the Energy Efficiency Directive

Actions under Scope A are expected to address core provisions and aspects of the Energy Efficiency Directive, such as:

  • Energy efficiency targets, notably with regard to data collection across different sectors and more accurate monitoring and better understanding of energy consumption and efficiency trends
  • Public Procurement, notably with regard to support central governments to purchase only products, services and buildings with high energy efficiency performance, and to encourage public bodies at regional and local levels to follow the example of their national government
  • Energy Efficiency Obligations (EEOs), notably with a view to more accurate and specific calculation of energy savings, better tools for Measurement and Verification (M&V), the setting up and monitoring of EEOs, the planning and verification of alternative measures; moreover with regard to exploring and substantiating the interaction of Article 7 with other policies, such as the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), State Aid, renewable energy etc. and with regard to potential energy savings from cross-sectorial programmes, such as renewable energy sources and combined heat & power and the extension of Article 7 to other sectors, such as water
  • Metering and billing, notably with regard to sub-metering, remote reading and heat cost allocation for thermal energy
  • Energy Services, notably with regard to regulatory, non-regulatory and financial barriers and enablers, such as accounting rules within public budgets, approaches to reduce split incentives, administrative burden and transaction costs; approaches to create trust and guarantee quality and performance and to define and acknowledge the roles of Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) and facilitators
  • Energy Efficiency National Fund, notably with regard to financing and technical support, for example through financing facilities, such as Energy Efficiency Funds

Scope B - Support for the implementation of the Renewable Energy Directive

Actions under Scope B are expected to address core provisions and aspects of the Renewable Energy Directive, such as:

  • Renewables self-consumers, notably with regard to the implementation of rights and enabling frameworks across Member States, and in particular in relation to the provisions on self-consumption and collective self-consumption and the way they create incentives and remove barriers for RES consumer business models
  • Renewable energy communities (RECs), notably with regard to the implementation of rights and enabling frameworks for RECs across Member States (including policy, regulatory and legislative measures) and their impact on the growth of RECs; this should also take into account relevant aspects linked to the Citizen Energy Communities addressed in Directive (EU) 2019/944 on common rules for the internal market for electricity; moreover, aspects related to the development of Community Energy Strategies
  • Mainstreaming renewable energy in heating and cooling, including district energy networks, notably with regard to collecting data on energy consumption in the heating and cooling sector, assessing existing market barriers and simplifying existing authorisation, certification and licensing procedures; developing tools to make available information on the net benefits, cost and energy efficiency of equipment and systems for the use of heating and cooling from renewable sources and waste heat and cold; mapping and analysis of the national renewable and waste energy potential in conjunction with respective requirements under Directive 2012/27/EU; assessing and implementing measures facilitating the integration of innovative renewable energy technologies and waste heat and cold into existing and new district heating and cooling networks
  • Renewable energy in the transport sector
  • Other related horizontal matters such as support schemes for energy from renewable sources, streamlining authorisation procedures, information and training and Guarantees of Origin

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 2 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:

For Scopes A and B:

  • Improved collaboration of implementing bodies within and across Member States
  • Increased understanding and knowledge in public administrations in charge of implementing European energy legislation
  • More effective implementation of provisions, including better planning, design and evaluation of policy measures
  • More consistent implementation of legal provisions across energy legislation, energy policy and energy sectors
  • Use of appropriate tools and methods that facilitate availability and access to data; improved quality of data and better monitoring
  • Improved understanding of consumption trends
  • Use of more accurate calculation and M&V methodologies, including for cross-sector use of energy
  • Improved quality of reporting/ National Energy and Climate Plans/ Long-term renovation strategies
  • Improved understanding of potentials
  • Improved understanding of market barriers
  • More effective planning, for example of smart Heating and Cooling networks
  • Improved understanding and measurement of the impacts and non-energy benefits, also in view of the circular economy
  • 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)
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, Administration & Governance
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 6,000,000.00

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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