CEFS - the key for community energy

Simply put, Community Energy Financing Schemes (CEFS) are funding programmes that finance community energy projects.

These schemes aim to reduce financing barriers for energy communities. The community of practice in the ACCE project delivered key understandings for overcoming these barriers. Indeed CEFS have the power of create a level-playing field for energy communities in they access to financing. Our key results show that:

• tailored financing instruments could be carved to every maturity of energy community financing needs ;

• to deliver effective financing solutions, CEFS must be operated by «close to the field» actors who have a deep understanding of energy communities

• these actors have proven successful collaboration with managing authorities, creating public-funded and as well as private-funded CEFS

Interested in setting up a new Community Energy Financing Scheme (CEFS)? Then head straight to our Toolbox to access the best resources tailored to your needs.

Success stories

Realisatiefonds, The Netherlands

The Realisatiefonds – translated as the Realisation Fund – for energy cooperatives was launched end of 2021. Since then 43 energy communities in securing business received loans for the building phase of their large-scale PV projects. The issued loans vary from 30,000 to 1 million euro and cover up to 75% of the total realisation costs of the project. The fund is managed by Energie Samen, one of the partners of the ACCE project.

Three ethic and cooperative banks supply the funds from which the loans are taken. A fund manager guides the applicants – energy cooperatives – through the application process. Once their financial dossier is complete, it is being sent to the fund controller, who replies within five days with a quote for the loan. After accepting the loan offer, the applicant receives the money in form of a construction deposit. Cooperatives hand in invoices to the fund controller, who pays the invoices or reimburses them with money from the deposit.


Energie Partagée Investissement, France

Energie Partagée Investissement (EPI) is a fund that focuses on financing the construction phase of citizen energy projects in France. The Energie Partagée Association raises awareness on citizen energy and federates its actors and project leaders on a national scale.
The fund collects savings from citizens and invests them as equity in the capital of citizen renewable energy project companies. This equity investment allows the project to be consolidated over time and makes it easier to obtain bank financing. The market knowledge and notoriety of the fund allows it to invest in a portfolio of projects and to make citizen collectives, local authorities and private companies work together on a variety of different projects across France. Since 2010, EPI has invested 27.7 million euro in a little over 100 projects, covering all renewable energy technologies in France (solar, wind, hydroelectricity, biomass, heating).


Dive into a unique expertise gathered across Europe

Discover guides, templates, and expert insights to streamline the process of establishing a successful CEFS below: