Information: Municipal Energy Efficiency and Climate Protection – Overview of Funding Opportunities

Once a municipality has made a decision to tackle the issue of local climate protection more intensively and develop an energy utilization plan, a climate protection concept, or other similar strategies, the next question is often how to secure financial support for the concrete formulation and implementation of the new program.

For energy utilization plans and integrated climate protection concepts, the following is an overview of how a call for tenders, funding, and commissioning can proceed.

In general, the procedure from the idea to the project implementation can be described with the following steps:

Procedure from the idea to project implementation

Integrated climate protection concepts

Climate protection concepts are a funding priority of the Municipal Guidelines, a funding program of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment.

The following are eligible for funding under the climate protection concepts:

  • Initial project to develop climate protection and management concepts
  • Follow-up project climate protection management
  • Selected measures identified in the concept

Eligible expenses are described in detail on the BMU’s information page. Here, it is possible to obtain funding for the employment of external contractors for individual aspects, such as the preparation of an energy and greenhouse gas balance.

The general rule for applying for federal funding is that the application must be submitted via the easy-Online portal. A funding application thus always consists of an application via the portal and, depending on the funding priority selected, additional documents such as a project description, a calculation form, and other evidence and documentation. After the electronic submission has been made, a version must always also be submitted by mail.

Furthermore, the general rule is that funding is only granted if the project has not already begun before the grant is issued. If services have to be put out to tender, it also applies here that the award procedure should not be started until after receipt of the notification of funding. Still, exceptions to the guideline are possible here: In these exceptional cases, the grant is only awarded if it is confirmed in the application that No. 3 ANBest-Gk or No. 3 ANBest-P were observed in the invitation to tender and if it was pointed out in the invitation to tender or the invitation to submit a bid that the actual award of contract/conclusion of the contract will only take place if the grant is approved.

As a rule, a processing time of five months after submitting the grant application is to be expected; this should be considered when planning the project.

After completion of the project, proof of use must be provided, consisting of a final report and other documents. These serve to demonstrate the effectiveness of the funding instrument.

Energy Utilization Plan

The Energy Utilization Plan (ENP) is a municipal planning instrument initiated by the Free State of Bavaria to impprove energy efficiency of consumers and shift energy supply to renewable energy sources in the area under consideration.

At least three comparative offers are to be submitted for the preparation of the energy utilization plan. The most favorable offer is to be selected. If one of the other offers is preferred, reasons must be given as to why the choice was made accordingly. With the help of the online portal ENPonline, the preparation of a tender can be easily completed online using service modules.

For one thing, the portal provides information on funding opportunities and, for another thing, supports the creation of tender documents. It also provides detailed information on the application process. For each of the different funding programs, sample text blocks are provided, which can be flexibly selected and combined to quickly create finished tender documents.

When creating the tender documents via ENPonline, it should be noted that the respective text bock is to be understood as a suggestion and can be adapted to individual requirements. Aspects that are not yet included in ENPonline in this way may also be eligible for funding. In this case, direct contact should be sought with the funding agency, and the extent to which points can be included should be clarified individually. In general, the ENPonline tool is not to be understood as a rigid construct but rather as a standardized orientation aid.

As an example, the selection path to the energy use plan is described in the following figure. The levels shown last here can be specified even more.

Figure 1: Selection options in the ENPonline tool

The individual selection fields provide the opportunity to obtain further information on the respective topic, such as objectives, methodology and results, profitability analysis, data basis/tools, practical examples, and documents to be submitted.

Energy concepts and implementation support are independent funding priorities separate from the energy utilization plan. They are not described in detail here but only summarized:

  • Energy concepts refer to individual objects or subject areas (e.g., the town hall as an existing building, charging infrastructure, the sewage treatment plant, etc.).
  • Implementation support can only be tendered after an energy utilization plan is created. In addition, it must be confirmed that there is no staff available in the municipality that could accompany an implementation in order to be able to tender this service externally.

After selecting the desired tender contents, the respective components can be confirmed in the next step, and the tender document created from the components can be downloaded as a performance specification with the steps to be processed when creating an ENP.

The FfE is happy to support you during this process. If you are interested in any of the above topics, please feel free to contact us.