On October 25th, 2023, e-SAFE had the pleasure of attending the Covenant of Mayors Investment Forum - Energy Efficiency Finance Market Place (COMIF-EEFMP). It is an annual conference that has been organised since 2018 by the DG ENER, DG CLIMA, and CINEA, in partnership with the Covenant of Mayors initiative.
Successful projects in sustainable energy and climate adaptation funding were presented, shared by practitioners with their peers in various breakout sessions, with the idea that networking plays a crucial role in deepening participants' learning experiences and setting up actionable follow-ups.
This year's edition spotlighted projects supported by the LIFE Clean Energy Transition sub-programme and Horizon 2020, particularly the Energy Efficiency subprogram. It also showcased initiatives funded by the EIB ELENA, LIFE Climate Programme, and endeavors like the Smart Cities Marketplace. There were also compelling plenary sessions with esteemed representatives from the Commission, European cities, and the investment community. A comprehensive exposition of the legislative framework and strategic direction undertaken by the European Union was presented, underscoring the imperative for substantial investments to effectively achieve decarbonisation across diverse sectors. Additionally, Mr Hans Van Steen - Principal Adviser at DG ENER - provided updates on the current progress, addressing the notable Russia-Ukraine conflict's impact on our energy system in recent winters. Preparations for this year are underway, with specific targets outlined, particularly in the realm of building renovations.
After, the projects presented shared their successful and pioneering initiatives, including initiatives that drive change at the local level, finance energy efficiency in both public and private sectors, and promote home renovations and energy communities.
Among the projects presented, some of them were of particular interest because they share the same outputs, target or objectives as e-SAFE.
- The SHEERenov project in Sofia, Bulgaria, aims to develop a framework for comprehensive residential renovation services. This initiative supports the Bulgarian Government's shift towards a market-driven approach, departing from the predominantly publicly funded model for enhancing energy efficiency in multi-family buildings. Through a detailed analysis, the project seeks to create conditions that engage homeowners, businesses, and financial entities in driving energy-efficient renovations in the residential sector;
- The FINEERGO-DOM project focuses on ensuring secure financing channels for extensive renovations in multifamily buildings. It employes the "polluter pays" principle at the local level, where fines on polluters were directed into a national environmental fund for reinvestment. Building owners can receive grants of up to 30% to facilitate energy efficiency renovations and get assistance in engaging an Energy Service Company (ESCO);
- The FITHOME project, operating in the Netherlands, targets energy poverty and encourages broad participation in the energy transition.
In conclusion, the COMIF-EEFMP on October 25th, 2023, underscored the critical role that building renovation plays in achieving sustainability and social justice goals. e-SAFE, with its focused approach on energetically and seismically efficient renovations of non-historic buildings, stands at the forefront of this wave. Alongside other successful projects in sustainable energy and climate adaptation funding, e-SAFE is setting an inspiring example of repowering the EU.
The forum emphasised the importance of networking and collaborative learning experiences, highlighting the need for substantial investments to effectively decarbonise various sectors. This aligns perfectly with e-SAFE's mission to drive positive change through building renovations!