Through SEFFs, the EBRD extends credit lines to local financial institutions that seek to develop sustainable energy financing as a permanent area of business. Finance for sustainable energy projects is provided for two key areas: energy efficiency and small-scale renewable energy. Local financial institutions on-lend the funds which they have received from the EBRD to their clients, which include small and medium-sized businesses, corporate and residential borrowers, and renewable energy project developers.
In addition to financing, each SEFF establishes a Project Implementation Team, comprised of local and international experts who provide support to participating local financial institutions and their clients. They undertake a range of activities, such as training staff in promoting the new financial product and how to recognise technically eligible projects, marketing of the facility, providing technical advice and studies, and supporting the creation of standards for environmental due diligence.
These experts also provide borrowers with support in identifying energy saving opportunities, developing financing applications, enhancing project design, and advising on high performance technologies.
SEFF financing for businesses typically ranges from a few hundred thousand to a few million euros to support the purchase and installation of equipment, systems or processes. Across the EBRD region, SEFF financing has supported diverse projects in virtually all sectors, ranging from agribusiness, food processing, and manufacturing to industry, construction and services.
Residential loans cover a few thousand to a few hundred thousand euros, most often to support improvements on the building envelope. Various groups have benefited from SEFF loans including individual owners, groups of home owners and multi-apartment associations.
Where necessary, the EBRD is working closely with donors to provide not just financing for the technical support, but also investment support to overcome affordability constraints and address cost and risk barriers.