Call for proposals

PL04 Energy efficiency Programme

29-05-2013, 13:50


The Minister of the Environment, as the Programme Operator of the Operational Programme PL04 “Saving energy and promoting renewable energy source” under the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism 2009-2014 (the 2009-2014 EEA Funds), hereby announces the call for proposals under competition procedure for co-financing of projects for a total amount of EUR 67,394,000, i.e. PLN 279 152 687[1].
1.      Programme objective
The Programme objective is to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants and increase the share of renewable energy in energy use.
2.      Programme area
Two Programme areas have been defined under the Operational Programme PL04 “Saving energy and promoting renewable energy sources”:
Programme area No. 5: “Energy efficiency”,
Programme area No. 6: “Renewable energy”.
3.      Type of projects eligible for funding[2]
Projects eligible for funding are aimed at:
1.      Improvement of energy efficiency of buildings and cover thermal efficiency improvement in public utility buildings intended for: public administration, education, healthcare, social assistance, higher education, science, education, tourism and sport.
2.      The modernisation or replacement of existing energy sources (including the replacement, or rebuilding of obsolete local systems) that supply energy to public utility buildings referred to in Subparagraph 1 with modern, energy-efficient and green heat and electricity sources with a total nominal capacity amounting up to 5 MW, including the energy from renewable sources or heat and electricity sources from cogeneration / trigeneration).
Heat or electricity sources that use energy from renewable sources are to be understood as:
  •  high-efficiency devices and facilities for electricity, heat or cold air production in cogeneration (high-efficiency co-/trigeneration),
  •   biomass-fuelled heat production devices (biomass-fuelled boilers),
  •   photovoltaic systems (cells),
  •   heat recuperators,
  •   heat pumps,
  •   solar collectors,
  •   small (micro-) wind turbines (building wind generators),
  •   biogas-fuelled devices and facilities for electricity and heat production,
  •   heat production devices fuelled by geothermal energy (facilities using the energy from geothermal energy sources).
3.      The installation, modernisation or replacement of heat centers with a total nominal capacity up to 3 MW to supply public utility buildings referred to in Subparagraph 1.
Any buildings, heat or electricity sources, heat distribution systems, facilities, machines or devices that are covered by the project are in possession or under control of the same beneficiary as the public utility buildings that undergo thermal efficiency improvement.
4.      Eligible applicants
The co-financing under the EEA Financial Mechanism can be applied for by entities from the following categories of entities pursuant to Paragraph 1.2 of Appendix II to the programme agreement:
  •  public finance units,
  •  non-public entities that perform public tasks.
5.      Amount allocated for funding the projects
For projects under the open call for proposals, EUR 67,394,000 will be allocated, i.e. PLN 279 152 687, including:
  •  for Programme area No. 5 “Energy efficiency”: EUR 55,905,250, i.e. PLN 231 565 136,
  •  for Programme area No. 6 “Renewable energy”: EUR 11,488,750, i.e. PLN 47 587 551.
The amount made available under the call for proposals consists of the funds obtained from the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism 2009-2014.
6.      Project grant rate
A project grant rate will depend on the ecological effect to be achieved as a result of project implementation, with the ecological effect understood as CO2 emission reduction or avoidance, and it will not be higher than 80% of total eligible costs.
The precise project grant rate will be specified as a result of project assessment for each project on an individual basis. The requested co-financing may be subject to an alteration, which consists in a percentage- or amount-based reduction resulting from:
  • recognition of some project costs as ineligible,
  • inclusion of the profits generated in the project,
  • adjustment to relevant provisions concerning the State aid rules.
The funds to cover the other project costs are provided by the project Applicant.
Project costs (grant + own contribution) payback time must not exceed 20 years.
7.      The maximum and minimum project grant rate
Under the call for proposals, the minimum amount of grant assistance applied for is EUR 170,000, i.e. PLN 704 157, and maximum amount of grant is EUR 3 million, i.e. PLN 12 426 300.
The exact amount of co-financing awarded to the project shall depend on the total amount of CO2 per year to be removed or avoided through the implementation of the project, and it shall be calculated by way of multiplication of the fixed amount of PLN 3600 for the removal of 1 tonne of CO2 per year by the number of tonnes of CO2 per year to be removed or avoided through the implementation of the project (provided that project grant rate doesn’t exceed 80% of total eligible costs).
8.      Expenditure eligibility period
The beginning of the project eligibility period: from the day when the decision about project funding is made by the Selection Committee.
The end of project eligibility period: 30 April 2016.
9.      Project selection criteria
Within the main call for proposals, each Applicant may only submit one application for funding.
A two-stage verification of applications will be conducted:
1.    Eligibility (formal) verification, under which applications are checked for compliance with the formal and eligibility criteria,
2.    Selection (substantive and technical) verification according to the criteria adopted by the Selection Committee, during which applications are verified for instance for feasibility, relevance, economic efficiency, innovativeness, planned ecological effect, environmental impact and contribution to the achievement of objectives, outcomes and outputs of the Programme .
Pursuant to the provisions of Appendix II, Subparagraph 3 and the adopted project selection criteria, the awarded project co-financing level depends on the volume of CO2 reduction or avoided emission or the highest renewable energy production and on the level of investment outlays – priority will be given to projects with the highest volume of CO2 emission reduction or avoidance or the highest renewable energy production in the most economically efficient way.
At the stage of formal assessment, the Applicant will have an opportunity to improve or supplement the missing documents. The following deficiencies are to be supplemented:
- obvious clerical and mathematical errors in the application and/or annexes,
- the lack of the electronic version of the application and/or annexes,
- incompliance of the paper version of the application with the digital one,
- the lack of annexes.
If supplementation is necessary, the applicant will be requested via e-mail and fax (with proof of mailing) to supplement the application or provide explanations.
The request will specify which criteria were not fulfilled and will contain detailed indication of the scope of incompliance. The supplementation and/or explanations will be submitted by the Applicant within three working days after the request of the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management (NFEPWM) to provide the missing documents.
The substantive assessment is carried out by two experts from the NFEPWM who are not involved in programme implementation and have the relevant expertise in the matters connected with the projects under evaluation.
The minimum total score (threshold) that enables a positive project assessment in substantive and technical terms and hence makes a project eligible for the ranking list ranges from 55 point to 100 points available in total.
The minimum score (threshold) under a given selection criterion in the substantive and technical assessment that makes a project eligible for further procedure and hence required for a project in order for it to be placed on the ranking list has been specified in Detailed criteria (download available below).
For the project to be placed in the ranking list, both of the above conditions have to be met simultaneously
The approved project assessment criteria (formal as well as substantive and technical ones)  with the number of points for each criterion are available for download below.
10. Payment system
The funding will be provided in the form of reimbursement of the costs incurred and in the form of one-off advance payment whereas the final payment will be made after the approval of the final report.
The advance payment amount depends on the Project Promoter type, and it may be disbursed as a one-off payment in an amount of:
  • up to 40% of the total awarded grant amount – public finance units, including self-governmnetal units.
  • up to 10% of the total awarded grant amount – non-public entities that perform public tasks.
The advance payment will be disbursed to a Project Promoter on the basis of the concluded agreement on project implementation and settled in the Project Interim Report(s).
The reimbursement of incurred costs will be made to a beneficiary on the basis of interim reports (payment claims), yet only after NFEPWM’s approval of the settlement of previously made advance payment.
Under the implementation of each project, a final payment is also planned (the retained amount), and it will be paid to Project Promoters after approval of the final report. The specified retained amount will amount to 5% of the total awarded grant amount.
In case of verification of expenditure incurred by project partners from the Donor States, the settlement may be made on the basis of a report of an independent and certified auditor, who confirms that the declared costs have been incurred in accordance with the Regulation, with the national law and the accounting practice of the project partner’s country.
The above-mentioned report should be recognised as a sufficient proof of incurred costs. This rule applies solely to a project partner from the Donor States pursuant to Article 7.13.5 of the Regulation.
11. Eligible and non-eligible expenditure
With reference to Article 7.3.1(c), the purchase of new or second-hand equipment is eligible under the projects, provided that the equipment constitutes an integral and necessary component that is essential for the achievement of project outcome, as defined in Article 2.1.7 of Appendix I to the programme agreement.
Pursuant to Article 7.4.1(b) of the Regulation, the basis for the calculation of indirect costs in the projects is is a flat rate of up to 20% of its total direct eligible costs, excluding its direct eligible costs for subcontracting and the costs of resources made available by third parties which are not used on the premises of the Project Promoter.
The detailed methodology of indirect cost calculation was developed by the Programme Operator, and it is available for download below:
The detailed conditions for settlement of direct costs will be specified by the Programme Operator in a project contract.
In-kind contribution is not eligible under the projects.
12. Time, place and manner for submitting applications
Date of announcement of a call for proposals – 29.05.2013
Start date for accepting applications –10.06.2013
Closing date for accepting applications –12.08.2013, at 3 pm.
A complete application along with the required annexes, filled in using the applicable form and signed by a person authorised to submit it, is to be submitted by the Applicant in Polish in one copy in writing (paper) and in three copies in electronic version (a CD-R, DVD or a USB memory)[3] to the following address:
Narodowy Fundusz Ochrony Środowiska i Gospodarki Wodnej
Departament Funduszy Norweskich
ul. Konstruktorska 3A
02-673 Warszawa
Applications may be submitted in person in the NFEPWM’s office in working hours, i.e. from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm or in a parcel via postal service provider or another courier service with confirmation of receipt. In case of applications dispatched via postal service provider or a courier service, the date of dispatching prevails. The documents have to be delivered to the NFEPWM seat within 10 days of the closing date for accepting applications.
13. Information about the means of appeal available to the applicant
In case of rejection resulting from the conducted formal or substantive and technical evaluation of the submitted application, the Applicant has the right to take advantage of a two-level appeal procedure. The Programme Operator is the appeal institution that examines an appeal in the first instance. The National Focal Point is the appeal institution that examines an appeal in the second instance.
The details of the proceedings under the appeal procedure are included in the document entitled: “Guidelines of the Minister of Regional Development on the procedure for the call for proposals under the EEA Financial Mechanism for 2009-2014 and the Norwegian Financial Mechanism for 2009-2014”, which can be downloaded from the address below.
The deadline for the Applicant to lodge an appeal is calculated from the time of Applicant’s acknowledgement of receipt of registered or courier mail.
14. Partner programme, partner projects
The Programme Operator invites the applicants to submit applications together with project partners from the Donor States (Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway).
In case of applications submitted in partnership, it is required to attach a document that confirms the established partnership in the form of a letter of intent or a partnership agreement. Before entering into a project contract, it will be required to submit a signed partner agreement.
Prior to the conclusion of the project implementation agreement, a presentation of a signed partnership agreement will be required.
In order to support the process of establishing partnerships with partners from Donor States, the Programme Operator encourages, inter alia, to contact following institutions or visit the websites:
Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE)
International Section
Director General’s Office
Telephone +47 22 95 91 21
Mobile phone: +47 470 698 94
(potential partners from Norway), (potential partners from Iceland)
or contact by e-mail to Mrs. Karin Lingg - (potential partners from Lichtenstein).
Additionally, it is worth to acquaint with information included on the following websites:
15. Legal Framework and Programme Documents
When developing the application, the Applicant is obliged to abide by the rules arising from the documents listed below:
  • Memorandum of Understanding on the Implementation of the EEA Financial Mechanism 2009-2014, available for download below,
  • Programme agreement between the EEA Financial Mechanism Committee and the NFP, available for download below,
  • Regulation on the implementation of the of the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism 2009-2014, available for download below,
  • Guidelines of the Donor States (available on the website:,
  • Guidelines of the National Focal Point (available on the website:,
  • Applicant’s manual drawn up by the Programme Operator, available for download below,
  • Rulebook for the open call for proposals PL04, available for download below.
16. Application form
The application should be filled in solely using the form intended for that purpose in accordance with the instruction on how to complete the application. The form and the instruction are available for download below.
17. List of annexes required for the application
The following annexes should be attached to the application:
  1. Documents that define the Applicant’s legal status – applicable to non-public entities that perform public tasks,
  2. Financial documents to be submitted depending on the Applicant’s legal form – applicable to non-public entities that perform public tasks,
  3. Documents that confirm that the Applicant has provided the funds to finance their contribution to the project,
  4. Audit concerning ecological efficiency of the project[4]
  5. Permits and administrative decisions that determine the possibility to implement the project or a schedule defining when they will be obtained,
  6. Promotion plan prepared in line with the Annex 4 to Regulation on the implementation of the European Economic Area Financial Mechanism and Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009-2014,
  7. Information about the chosen methodology used to calculate the indirect costs and a list of direct costs, if any, forming the basis for the calculation of lump sums of indirect costs,
  8. Declaration about the regularity of the adopted assumptions used to calculate the indirect costs when using the chosen lump sum rate method (according to the formula approved by the Programme Operator),
  9. Declaration about the right to administer a real estate property / properties,
  10. Partnership agreement / letter of intent – where applicable,
  11. Reference maps of the locations of replacement of heat sources – where applicable,
  12. Power of attorney for the person signing the application – where applicable.
The detailed requirements for the above-mentioned annexes have been described in the “Instruction for filling in the application and Project Implementation Plan”.
18. Application language
The application together with all the required annexes should be submitted in Polish irrespective of whether the project is submitted solely by a domestic entity or in co-operation with a partner from the Donor States.
19. Programme Operator contact details
Any questions about the call for proposals should be sent during the call for proposals to the following address:
Ministerstwo Środowiska
Departament Funduszy Europejskich
ul. Wawelska 52/54
00-922 Warszawa
tel. 22 57 92 779, 22 57 92 772
Contact hours: 9.00-16.00
Narodowy Fundusz Ochrony Środowiska i Gospodarki Wodnej
Departament Funduszy Norweskich
Narodowy Fundusz Ochrony Środowiska i Gospodarki Wodnej
ul. Konstruktorska 3A
02-673 Warszawa
tel. 22 45 90 130, 22 45 90 373, 22 45 90 107, 22 45 90 400
Contact hours: 8-15

According  to  art.  35  §  1  of  The Code of Administrative Procedure all questions  shall  be  answered  immediately (in principle within 21 working
days but in justifiable cases this period may be extended).

[1] The amount for the call for proposals expressed in EUR, and then calculated by the Programme Operator into the national currency and expressed in PLN using the average monthly foreign exchange rate published in the Official Journal of the European Union (in the C series), calculated for the period of last six months, where EUR 1 = PLN 4,1421).
[2] The PL04 Programme will not provide co-financing for projects aimed solely at revitalisation, maintenance, renovation and adaptation for cultural purposes of historic buildings and historic building complexes together with their surrounding, as well as construction, extension, repairs and conversion of institutions of culture. Such measures may be granted financial support under the Programme No. 16 “Maintenance and revitalization of cultural heritage”, which is under implementation by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage as the Programme Operator.
[3] An application copy in writing should be drawn up in the A4 format and placed in a file with the programme and project name and a full Applicant name.
The electronic application version should also contain all the appendices attached to the paper version and scans of all the signed original documents. Individual files should have a name that corresponds to the document nomenclature according to the application form. The storage medium should have the title of the application it concerns and the Applicant’s name.
[4] Calculations of the project’s planned energy and ecological effect, calculations of project’s economic efficiency and project’s technical description together with a simplified bill of quantities


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