European Commission: Stimulating Demand for Sustainable Energy Skills in the Building Sector

Deadline: 10 September 2020
The European Commission has announced a call for proposals for Stimulating Demand for Sustainable Energy Skills in Building Sector.
The objective is to increase the number of skilled building professionals (“blue collar” and “white collar” professions) across the building design, operation and maintenance value chain (e.g. designers, architects, engineers, building managers, technicians, installers, on-site workers and craftsmen, including apprentices, and other building professionals), with a specific focus on the engagement of SMEs. Recourse to skilled professionals for renovations and new constructions of buildings as well as district scale solutions should be made more attractive and easier for companies (e.g. ESCOs) and home owners alike.

The focus of submitted proposals should be on the direct stimulation of demand for energy skills in construction. This is calling for the development, up-scaling and/or combination of a range of tools and initiatives, e.g.:
  • Tools facilitating the mutual recognition of energy skills and qualifications in the building sector: development of sustainable energy skills passports/registers for building professionals at regional/national level and support for their take up at European level; mobile applications facilitating the comparison of professionals’ skills and qualifications between countries (e.g. by enabling the direct comparison of learning outcomes);
  • National, regional or local initiatives raising awareness of home and building owners and tenants about the benefits of sustainable energy skills and providing financial incentives for renovations and new constructions done using skilled professionals;
  • Support to public authorities for the development of new legislative frameworks, e.g. requirements for skilled professionals in public procurement;
  • Partnerships with producers and retailers of construction products (e.g. DIY stores) to raise awareness of the salesforce and of consumers about energy efficient products, skilled professionals and good practice in new constructions and renovations;
  • Initiatives reinforcing the link between skills/education and energy performance/quality of construction e.g. tools showing the reduction of the building’s performance gap as result of an increase quality of the works.
Proposals need to be focused and are not necessarily required to address the whole range of professions and crafts involved in the building sector. They may however consider the entire design chain (e.g. manufacturers). If the proposal addresses specifically design, material life cycles and embodied energy have to be considered.

Adequate consideration should also be given to the multiple benefits of energy efficiency, to improved appreciation of the end user’s needs including the quality of indoor environment (thermal and visual comfort, acoustics, air quality, etc.) as well as to the building’s improved operation and maintenance.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 0.5 and 1 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact
Proposals are expected to demonstrate, depending on the scope addressed, the impacts listed below using quantified indicators and targets wherever possible:
  • Primary Energy savings triggered by the project (in GWh/year);
  • Renewable energy production triggered by the project (in GWh/year);
  • Investments in sustainable energy triggered by the project (in million Euro);
  • Increased number of certification schemes for energy efficiency skills;
  • Improved mutual recognition of sustainable energy skills between Member States and neighbouring countries;
  • Improved collaboration and understanding across different trades and professional groups;
  • Increased market acceptance of sustainable energy skills;
  • Legislative changes stimulating the demand for energy skilled building professionals;
  • Demonstrated reduction in the gap between designed and actual energy performance through improved quality of construction.
  • Additional positive effects can be quantified and reported when relevant and wherever possible:
  • Reduction of the greenhouse gases emissions (in tCO2-eq/year) and/or air pollutants (in kg/year) triggered by the project.
Eligibility Criteria
at least three legal entities shall participate in an action;
each of the three legal entities shall be established in a different Member State or Associated Country
all three legal entities shall be independent of each other within the meaning of Article 8 of the Rules for Participation.

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