The European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA Programme) in 2021

ELENA Program

By Charlotte Von der Brelie

The European Local Energy Assistance known as the ELENA Programme by grants aficionados is the secret go-to grant when it comes to providing technical assistance for energy efficiency and renewable energy investments that target buildings and innovative urban transport. I will walk you through the most important aspects of this grant: Eligibility, Envelopes, Investment size, and of course Application. By the end of this article, you‘ll be a little wiser about the ELENA Programme and what it has to offer.


The facility was funded under the Horizon 2020 program, beginning in 2014. It was created by the European Commission and the European Investment Bank to support the preparation of a bankable, ambitious, and large-scale investment programmes in energy efficiency and distributed renewable energy. In 2016, it also began supporting projects in sustainability and innovative urban mobility. By the End of 2019 ELENA has awarded around €180 million of EU support mobilizing an estimated investment of around €6.6 billion in over 21 countries.


ELENA offers grants for projects development assistance to public and private project promoters. Within the public sector in EU member states, government organizations, as well as regional, local, and municipal authorities are all eligible to apply. Even public corporations and financial institutions are not excluded from applying. Within the private sector, all private entities that
are planning to develop and support eligible investments, such as associations, mixed public/private entities, or banks etc., as well as other private associations (social housing associations or homeowners’ associations) are all eligible to apply. However, one important note: the ELENA technical assistance projects should not be profit-making.

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