Barriers in awareness and experience on financing energy efficiency

Specific barriers

Ways to cope with them

Low awareness of foreign and creative financial supports

Municipal development plan implementations mostly focus on the calls of the country’s regional development OP’s Low Carbon priority.

Municipalities are forced to apply for these OPs as they are under-financed and do not possess reserves to provide own contributions for the investments.


Municipalities are advised to work with consultants to increase their awareness of both the importance of setting up financial portfolios for their developments and of the project development assistance on EU level

SEAPs, SECAPs and climate strategies might mention all potential EU sources and market tools (debt financing, community financing, etc.) to provide the possibility for the decision makers to apply for the best fitting financial solutions for their investments, consultants experienced in EU financing and creative financing schemes such as crowdfunding, revolving funds, etc.


Small measures to improve EE may be implemented continuously and financed from the current budget whenever money is available and not in the course of a separate project. This makes it difficult to obtain funding from outside sources.

In Austria, for instance, specific financial resources from the province are received for important projects.

Cooperative models with the ESCO Stadtwerke Judenburg, 100 % from the municipality owned

Citizens’ participation for financing a PV-system (sale-and-lease-back model), similar to citizen cooperatives

Awareness of potential energy saving and alternative ways of financing exists but there is not much application of alternative ways of financing in practice due to skepticism and insufficient knowledge about alternative funding options.

Koprivnica in Croatia has a great experience with EU funding of smart metering, electric cars and buses, energy refurbishments etc. but they lack solutions that involve alternative funding sources.

People dealing with finances in a municipality should be adequately educated and trained on how to use and which type of alternative funding option to use depending on the particular situation and also need to practice life-long- learning and professional development in order to keep up to date with new possibilities of financing.

Smaller local communities, companies as well as citizens are not able to carry out the application process as the application procedure is often very complicated and discourages them from applying for co-financing.

Technical assistance in preparing applications from the side of regions, provinces, energy agencies etc., and continual awareness raising campaigns from their side.