Getting started with innovative financing models is still a challenge for many Hungarian municipalities

Hungarian municipalities especially small cities far away from Budapest are still facing major challenges in accessing adequate financing for their energy efficiency projects. Based on this fact in the frame of the Climate Start Ceremony in Sopron (HU) CITYnvest held a presentation to raise awareness about possible ways of financing energy efficiency renovations, and organised a networking lunch to facilitate direct exchange between representatives of the CITYnvest project and the mayors attending the event.
In Hungary, although EU funds represent the preferred financing option, barriers such as the co-financing required by most of the funding lines and the complexity of the application process are discouraging local authorities from applying. In order to bridge this gap the ministry of national development, department of climate policy has developed a support system that helps local authorities preparing project proposals for the LIFE programme and co-finances the co-financing required by the programme.
It was the second time that the CITYnvest team met Hungarian local authorities, following up on the outcome of the first workshop, in Sopron CITYnvest  presented the step-by-step guidance. The presentation covered the main steps of the guide and, in line with the EC’s principle of “promoting a better use of public funds”, zoomed in the financial support schemes available via EU funds and the added value of being part of the Covenant of Mayors community.
A summary of the 'Quick Reference Guide' for EU financing programmes for sustainable energy developed with the support of the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy was presented, and many questions addressing the use of the tool were asked during the networking lunch.