CITYnvest is a Horizon 2020 project that focuses on supporting and replicating successful innovative financing models for energy efficiency renovations in public buildings. The consortium features models, based on Energy Performance Contracting (EPC), Third Party Financing (TPF), revolving funds, cooperatives and others. 

Project background

Energy efficiency can play an essential role in providing energy security and it has a great potential for boosting domestic markets and creating jobs. Currently, energy efficiency is a priority at the European level. Though, the reality shows that barriers to broad implementation of energy efficiency projects still exist. Evidence shows that buildings are responsible for 40% of European primary energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions. European targets for 2050 require energy savings of up to 80% in the building sector. It is clear that developing, improving and implementing innovative financing models for energy efficiency renovations in buildings is necessary. But it is not enough; stimulating private investments, and better regulations are also needed. That is why we introduced CITYnvest project. Innovative financing models, such as Third Party Financing schemes (TPF) including Energy Performance Contracting (EPC), revolving funds, soft loan schemes, and cooperative models are developed across the European Union. Those models have proven to be successful in providing financing for large scale and deep energy efficiency renovations in buildings. Yet, they have not been widely implemented across Europe. We believe that local authorities have an important role to play in triggering these models and bringing together all crucial stakeholders. We aim to grow their knowledge and capacities to develop their own financing solutions and kick-start energy efficiency retrofits in public buildings.

Project objectives

  • Building capacities and skills of local authorities.
  • Triggering energy savings in three pilot regions in Belgium, Bulgaria and Spain.
  • Preparing ground for investments in energy efficient deep renovations of public buildings.
  • Shaping regulations and policies on local, national and European level.
  • Creating sustainable jobs.

Our activities focus on 5 main areas

  1. We analyse and compare innovative financing models that have already been developed across Europe. Based on gathered data and our experience from pilot regions, we develop guidance materials on financing for energy efficiency renovations of public buildings. 
  2. We help to introduce innovative financing models in three pilot regions in Belgium (Liège), Bulgaria (Rhodope) and Spain (Murcia). In those regions, we set up dedicated structures and teams which act as knowledge centres, supporting local authorities in planning and implementing retrofitting projects. By the end of the project, their efforts should result in signing three investment commitments worth more than 70 million euros. Those investments will bring substantial energy savings (58,6 GWh). 
  3. We conduct large scale capacity building programme. Through a series of workshops we will train more than 650 local authorities and 300 other stakeholders in 10 focus countries (Bulgaria, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Hungary, Austria and Slovakia).
  4. We monitor investments that have been triggered in the frame of CITYnvest. We collect and analyse data from local authorities in three pilot regions and evaluate our efforts on the ground. That will allow us to determine key success factors and recommend possible improvements.
  5. We promote innovative financing models and share our experience and knowledge. Our constantly updated on-line platform offers a comprehensive set of guides, toolkits and training materials for local authorities and other stakeholders.

Project deliverables


Project website