The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Belfius have signed a key agreement to encourage corporate investment aiming to improve energy efficiency in Belgium and help local authorities, inter-municipal utilities and non-profit organisations in education and healthcare to implement their smart and sustainable projects. The agreement is under the EIB and European Commission's new Private Finance For Energy Efficiency (PF4EE) instrument (LIFE programme) to address the shortage of tailored and affordable commercial financing for energy efficiency investment.
The PF4EE instrument combines three elements. The first consists of an EIB loan for financing eligible energy efficiency projects, to be managed by local banks. The second component covers the losses potentially incurred by partner banks in relation to energy efficiency loans. The third component will bolster the implementation of the PF4EE instrument by transferring the technical and financial experience acquired in the course of other similar projects.
This agreement will enable Belfius to provide businesses with EUR 75m in loans on favourable terms for investments aimed at improving energy efficiency in Belgium, thereby addressing key climate-change issues. These loans are available to both businesses and Energy Service Companies (ESCOs). Belfius will have access to the technical and financial expertise of specialised consultants and will benefit from a transfer of experience as part of PF4EE. These loans will also be secured by the PF4EE guarantee up to 80% of their value.
Projects financed by PF4EE will aim, in particular, to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings (insulation, heating, ventilation, cooling, lighting, decentralised renewable energy production, etc.), reduce the energy consumption and strengthen the energy efficiency of industrial sites and processes, refit or extend urban heating or cooling networks, and improve the energy performance of public lighting systems. The projects will be implemented on behalf of either the borrowing companies themselves or their public or private sector customers.