European Commission and European Investment Bank launch European Local Energy Assistance facility

The European Commission and the European Investment Bank (EIB), the bank of the EU Member States, have launched a grant aid initiative to help local and regional authorities make investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy. The global fight against climate change is a top priority for the European Union and it is acknowledged that local actors will play a significant role in meeting this challenge. The ELENA facility is designed to help cities and regions, through the provision of technical assistance, structure and implement projects in the most efficient way so they can attract outside finance.

Urban areas represent around 70% of the energy consumption of the EU yet the potential for sustainable energy related investments remains largely untapped. The European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA) facility aims at helping cities and regions implement viable investment projects in the areas of energy efficiency; renewable energy sources and sustainable urban transport, replicating success stories from other parts of Europe. Projects will be assessed by engineers and economists at the EIB. The technical assistance will be funded from the Intelligent Energy Europe II (IEE) programme. A budget of EUR 15 million euro is available for the first year of facility operation.

Technical assistance, supported by the ELENA facility, can be provided to a local or regional authority or another public body or a grouping of such bodies coming from the countries participating in the IEE programme. The investment programmes supported by the facility shall contribute to achieving the 20-20-20 objectives.