3. Eligibility check

3.1 Where can I find the eligibility check?

The eligibility check is available on the EUCF website.

3.2 What are the eligibility criteria?

To be eligible for the EUCF support, you have to meet the following requirements:

  • Being a municipality/local authority or grouping of municipalities/local authorities

  • Municipalities/local authority or grouping of municipalities/local authorities must be located in a EU-27 member state and the United Kingdom

  • Having politically approved Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP), Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan(SECAP) or plan of similar ambition

  • Being able to demonstrate political commitment to the project

  • Being able to demonstrate commitment to the monitoring period of two years

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 only be done online. After completing the check, applicants are immediately informed about their results and next steps.

Are you planning of applying as a grouping? Please also have a look at FAQ5.

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

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 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 A – SEAP, SECAP or plan of similar ambition – Summary, to provide an overview of the main energy and climate targets established by the plan. 

3.4 Can SEAP or SECAP be submitted in local 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.

3.5 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 should include energy and climate targets at least for the year 2020 Please see also the Covenant of Mayors website for SECAP ambitions. As part of the full application, any plans of similar ambition need to be submitted together with the template for Annex A – SEAP, SECAP or plan of similar ambition – Summary, to provide an overview of the main energy and climate targets established by the plan.

3.6 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.

The EUCF provides support for investment projects within the field of sustainable energy, including all investments on the energy demand side, which contribute to the improvement of energy performance and the achievement of energy savings. Among the investment sectors targeted by the EUCF are public, residential buildings and tertiary (non-municipal) buildings, efficiency improvements in equipment/facilities, development and use of building integrated renewables, district heating modernisation or fuel switch to renewables, smart grids, sustainable urban mobility (e.g. public transport, charging stations, etc.), and innovative energy infrastructure (e.g. citizen energy communities[1], innovative approaches to public lighting, wastewater treatment plants, etc.). Nevertheless, it is also possible to implement projects in further sectors, as long as they are in the field of sustainable energy.

3.7 Are regional/inter-municipal communities or associations of local authorities eligible?

Regional/inter-municipal communities or association of local authorities which have a Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics( NUTS)_ III code are not directly eligible under EUCF.

The Facility is addressed to municipalities / local authorities (and their groupings) with LAU code (column B of the EUROSTAT “Correspondence table LAU – NUTS 2016, EU-28 and EFTA / available Candidate Countries” file ), which have a SEAP/SECAP or other action plans of similar ambition.

However, these communities/associations can be involved as follow:

• The interested municipalities apply as grouping (they elect a lead applicant that will then add in the application all the municipalities interested by the project);

• In the section “allocation of funds” of the full application form, the lead applicant will select the voice “other”;

• In the text box that will appear after the above selection, the lead applicant will state that the community/association will carry out part/all the activities.

For further information, please read section 2 of the guidelines for applicants and FAQ5.

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

Yes, this is eligible. Municipalities and local authorities can seek funding from local, national and international sources.

3.9 Are municipalities/local authorities or groupings of municipalities/local authorities from associated countries (incl. EFTA member states) or Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT) linked to the EU Member States eligible to the EUCF?

No. In line with its  concept including established support structures in the eligible countries (country experts and national cities networks), the EUCF provides only support to municipalities/local authorities or groupings of municipalities/local authorities that are located in a EU-27 member state and the United Kingdom.

3.10 Could islands administered by an island municipality apply for the EUCF?

Yes, municipalities and local authorities of EU islands can apply for EUCF. This includes also the full list of the remote EU regions of the European Union here Outermost regions.

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

No, Energy agencies cannot apply. The application is open exclusively to municipalities, local authorities or groupings of municipalities/local authorities. Energy Agencies may support the beneficiary, through the EUCF grant, for the provision of technical expertise for the development of Investment Concepts.

3.12 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 test, you will be offered the registration to the EUCF website user zone.

3.13 Is there any population limit for 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.

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

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

3.15 What is meant by political commitment? How can I demonstrate political commitment?

In order to demonstrate the political commitment for the development of the Investment Concept, the EUCF applicant must provide a letter of support, signed by the Mayor or other relevant political representative of the Municipality/local authority. The letter of support needs to be submitted together with the full application. The applicants are encouraged to use a corresponding [template for Annex B], where only general data has to be added and then it is ready to be signed by the political representative.

Are you planning to apply as a grouping? Please check FAQ5.2.