LIFE is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the EU
The LIFE programme for the Environment and Climate Action is expanding from providing action grants to projects and operating grants to non-governmental organisations. LIFE funding will now also be channeled through the Private Finance for Energy Efficiency, the first of two new financial instruments under this programme.
The Private Finance for Energy Efficiency (PF4EE) aims to increase private financing for investments in energy efficiency enhancing projects. Its objective is therefore to support Member States in making progress in view of the EU’s agreed targets on energy efficiency.
The Commission has committed €80 million for 2014-17 anticipating an 8-fold leverage effect. The management of the PF4EE instrument is entrusted to the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The PF4EE will combine lending from the EIB to financial intermediaries with protection against losses associated with making loans for energy efficiency projects. The Financial Instrument will help intermediary banks in Member States to develop and offer specific loan programmes for energy efficiency projects. These loan programs will be aligned with the national energy efficiency action plans. The Financial Instrument will also provide support and technical assistance aiming at effectively deploying the PF4EE Instrument by increasing the technical capacity of the financial intermediaries.
The beneficiaries could include SMEs, private individuals, small municipalities or other public sector bodies. The size of the energy efficiency loans to be provided to the final beneficiaries could range from €40 000 up to €5 million and higher in exceptional cases.