Skip to main content
EU Blue Economy Observatory
Call for proposalsClosed

Supporting the clean energy transition of European businesses LIFE-2023-CET-BUSINESS


Publication date
11 May 2023
Opening date
Deadline model
Deadline date
16 November 2023, 17:00 (CET)


Scope A: Strengthening a favourable ecosystem for energy audits and energy management systems

Proposals under this scope should support the participating countries in strengthening their ecosystem for energy audits and energy management systems, thereby ensuring high-quality energy audits and increasing the implementation of cost-effective measures, especially by small and medium-sized energy-intensive businesses.

Applicants should primarily address the quality of energy audits, by taking into account the following elements: measures that could encourage a higher uptake of energy audit recommendations by companies, application of international and European standards in energy audits, use of Life-Cycle Cost Analysis versus simple payback periods, content and structure of the audit report including a concrete and feasible Action Plan for the recommended measures, valorisation and quantification of non-energy benefits, follow-up systems for checks on the implementation of measures and data management. Proposals should also explore the potentials of energy management systems based on performance improvement as well as measures for the cost-effective use or production of renewable energy in businesses. Activities can be developed as support to relevant national /regional authorities and/or as services to companies.

In addition to the above, proposals could address barriers at national/regional level that hinder the implementation of energy efficiency projects and the increase of renewable energy in businesses, for example administrative (permitting, support schemes, etc), financial (access to finance, risk) or informative (knowledge gap, skills, etc). Information campaigns, obligations linked with performance incentives, fiscal and financial instruments that increase access to finance and embed risk reduction options, mechanisms such as energy audit centres for SMEs, energy efficiency roadmaps and energy efficiency networks for SMEs are relevant tools whose best practices can be shared and replicated by the participating countries. Consultation and engagement activities should be foreseen with the relevant stakeholders, for example national/local energy agencies, managing authorities, industry associations and financial institutions.

Finally, where relevant and instrumental to facilitate the uptake of energy audits recommendations and subsequent measures by businesses, proposals could address the enhancement of corporate energy culture.

Scope B: Fostering energy cooperation among companies

Proposals under this scope should foster the market uptake of energy efficiency measures and the use of renewable energy (and heat pumps where relevant), through the establishment of collaborative approaches among companies. Applicants can focus on developing collaborative approaches, namely between large and small companies operating in the same value chain, or on energy cooperation among companies in proximity (region, cluster, industrial park/site).

Energy cooperation and collaborative approaches refers to, for example, companies working in the same value chain and holding business relations. The value chains addressed can operate at any level (from local to European, and international when relevant). It can also refer to companies in proximity (region, cluster, industrial park/site) sharing energy related assets (e.g. renewable energy generation, energy networks, energy storage), sharing energy services, implementing energy exchanges (e.g. recovery and use of waste heat from industrial and manufacturing processes) or being involved in energy communities. Clustering of companies can also facilitate better access to finance, ESCO contracts and power purchase agreements (e.g. aggregators).

Proposals are expected to carry out activities aiming at triggering interest, awareness, knowledge and know-how (e.g. through the organisation of roundtables at sector or territorial level) on the multiple benefits achievable from collaborative approaches. Some examples of these benefits are operating costs reduction, mitigation of energy-related risks, easier access to finance or stronger value proposition. Proposals should also work on removing barriers that hinder energy cooperation, e.g. organisational (coordination, trust, responsibilities, data management, risk sharing), legal or social.

Furthermore, proposals should facilitate the establishment of concrete cooperation initiatives, including but not limited to identifying, investigating and validating economically viable business models (based on concrete interaction with participating companies), proving the relevance of a collaborative approach in terms of value creation for each involved actor (e.g. buyers/suppliers/final users) as well as in addressing the untapped potential of energy efficiency and renewables at each step of the process (e.g. upstream to downstream in the case of value chains).

The proposed activities should be focused on engaging businesses in energy cooperation activities; the involvement of additional relevant stakeholders (e.g. industrial organisations, multipliers, financial players, ESCOs, public authorities) should be envisaged to ensure the success and the sustainability of the developed collaborative approach.

The proposed approaches should demonstrate a high degree of replicability and proposals should include a clear action plan to communicate experiences, critical success factors and results towards relevant energy cooperation actors and stakeholders across the EU.

Additionally, benchmarking and monitoring mechanisms, focusing on the energy use at value chain, or at cluster or industrial park/site level, could be developed to support the formulation of policy/regulatory recommendations aiming at speeding up the clean energy transition of the business sector towards the EU’s 2030 and 2050 climate and energy objectives.