The key aim of energy aid is to promote the development of innovative solutions for replacing the energy system with a low-carbon alternative in the long term. Energy aid can be granted for investment and investigation projects that promote:
1) the production or use of renewable energy, which in turn
2) energy savings or improving the efficiency of energy production or use and
3) otherwise replacing the energy system with a low carbon one.
Energy aid is discretionary, and priority is given to projects involving new technology. The aid can also be considered for projects using conventional technology, with priority for well-prepared projects and carefully compiled aid applications.
Aid is not granted for projects launched before the aid decision is made. In addition, aid will be granted to cover costs arising as of the date of the financing decision at the earliest. The aid must have a significant impact on the launch of the project.
"Investment project" means an investment in fixed assets.
"Investigation project" means energy audits and analyses, other investigations directly related to investments, and surveys for developing a new method. However, energy aid is not used for financing conventional business establishment, expansion, profitability, development, planning, marketing or background surveys, or other similar surveys, related to individual companies.
"New technology" means novel solutions that have not been experimented with on a broad scale in Finland. Typically, this means a first demonstration plant or plants. The adoption of new technology usually entails extra costs or risks compared to a corresponding project implemented using conventional technology. Solutions involving new technology play an important role in achieving long-term energy and climate goals.
Energy aid is available for:
Energy aid is not available to:
The following are also evaluated:
* Excluding projects related to the use of waste and residual heat, which are subject to aid percentages related to energy savings
Limitations, or aid is not granted:
Increased support (20–40%) will be granted for projects containing new technology, including companies and municipalities that have not entered into energy efficiency agreements
Limitations, or aid is not granted:
Apply for funding
All energy aid applications regardless of project size must be submitted to the innovation funding centre Business Finland. Applications can be submitted continuously until further notice. The Business Finland innovation funding centre grants aid for projects whose acceptable costs do not exceed EUR 5 million and for projects involving new technology whose acceptable costs do not exceed EUR 1 million. Aid for higher investment costs is granted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Development.
Aid is not granted for projects launched before the aid decision is made. In addition, aid can be granted to cover costs arising as of the date of the financing decision at the earliest. There is nothing to prevent energy aid being granted for costs arising as of the date of the financing decision if the customer has a pending broader investment project that will be implemented outside of the energy aid project and has already been launched, the application for energy aid concerns a limited new technology or energy efficiency measure included in the investment project, and this part of the project has not yet been launched. There is nothing to prevent energy aid being granted to cover costs arising as of the date of the financing decision if clearance and earthwork connected with the investment project have already started before the decision to grant the aid was made.
Acceptable costs include costs arising from investment and investigation projects that were caused by the project during its implementation (starting, at the earliest, from the date of the financing decision). Costs based on an order placed before the financing decision are not considered eligible except in cases where the order includes the opportunity for written cancellation connected with the launching of the project.
If the company or community has a plan for an investment in increasing the use renewable energy or saving energy, or if it intends to commission an energy audit in order to identify opportunities for saving energy, it should discuss the matter with the experts of the energy aid team at Business Finland. The team's contact details are provided below.
The application is submitted through the online service on Business Finland's website. Through the service, it is possible to monitor the processing of the application and supplement it, where necessary. It typically takes about two months to process the application.
The applicant must appoint a director for its energy investment project from its organisation. A contact person must also be appointed for the project, who can be from the applicant's organisation or from some other organisation of the applicant's choice.
Appendices to the application (in Finnish or Swedish only):
Appendices (appendix to the investment or investigation project application, energy aid evaluation form and project plan) to the application have to be submitted either in Finnish or Swedish.
The project plan contains a brief description of the activities of the applicant organization, its ownership, the main key figures (turnover, number of employees) and a description of the property or production process related to the investment/platform.
The description, technical specification and cost breakdown of the investment are also part of the project plan and its attachments (e.g. offers). The objectives of the investment, including the numerical value and profitability calculation (payback period), must be included in the project plan, as should the applicant's knowledge of the status of the relevant official permits related to the investment.
The applicant should carefully read the General terms for energy aid (pdf), which describe in detail the content of eligible costs, for instance.
The Ministry of Employment and the Economy has opened a call for investment subsidies for projects accelerating the replacement of coal in energy production by the end of 2025.
In 2020, EUR 30 million has been allocated for this purpose in the energy aid mandate, and a total of EUR 90 million will be made available as investment aid in the period 2020–2022.
The aid can be granted to projects that promote
Priority will be given to projects that are based on other technologies than combustion. After these projects the priority is given to combined heat and power production, and lastly to separate heat production. Novelty and the demonstration potential of the projects will be taken into account.
The aid applications are submitted using Business Finland's electronic system but they will be evaluated at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. Applications can be submitted throughout the year 2020. The application and any annexes are to be submitted in Finnish or Swedish.
Application form (in Finnish, docx)
The Ministry of Employment and the Economy has opened a call for investment subsidies for large demonstration projects for new energy technology for 2020. In 2020, EUR 40 million has been allocated for this purpose in the energy aid mandate. The call is open until the end of March and intended for projects with an investment cost of more than EUR 5 million.
The investment aid is intended for future energy solutions to meet national and EU targets for 2030. The categories of projects supported under them are:
The objective of the scheme is to promote nationally and internationally replicable solutions based on new energy technologies.
The call closes on March 31st, 2020. The aid applications are submitted using Business Finland's electronic system but they will be evaluated at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The application and any annexes are to be submitted in Finnish or Swedish.
Applying form for large demonstration projects (docx, in Finnish)
After the applicant receives the financing decision, it must be approve through Business Finland's transaction service, as otherwise the decision will not enter into force and the aid cannot be paid! The financing decision can only be approved by a person authorised to sign for the company.
Accounts must be kept of the project costs for the duration of the project. The approved duration of this support decision is binding and cannot be exceeded without a change in the project schedule, for which a separate application must be made!
In particular, special attention is paid to the salaries or wages of the beneficiary, based on monitoring working time by the hour. The auditor must issue an audit report for its observations related to project costs and their monitoring.
The final report and cost statement must be submitted through Business Finland's Online Service by the date specified in the decision. The above-mentioned date is binding on the recipient and must not be exceeded without the permission of Business Finland. Non-compliance with the submission date of the final report and cost statement will prevent the payment of aid.
The Online Service includes a separate section for the report and cost statement, and both must be completed. Business Finland will only pay for project funding, when both the report and the cost statement have been approved by Business Finland.
After the investment or investigation is complete, the applicant will report and render an account of the project costs electronically through Business Finland's transaction service.
Key issues related to reporting and the cost statement:
In investigation projects, the beneficiary must provide Motiva Oy with target-specific inspection reports and summary tables for rendering a final account of the project (maintable.xls or municipaltable.xls). More detailed instructions are available at this link: Transfer of energy inspection reports and main tables to Motiva. For information on the progress of inspection projects, click here for Motiva's website.
The following procedure should be employed for energy aid projects launched in 2016 or earlier (submitted on printed forms) that have received aid from ELY centres.
Payment decisions for these are administered by KEHA-keskus. This means that the customer must submit payment applications for the above energy projects, issued on printed forms, to KEHA-keskus as follows, according to the region where the project is implemented: https://www.keha-keskus.fi/yhteystiedot/maksatusalueiden-yhteystiedot/
Q: If industrial or commercial premises are in residential use only to the extent of the so-called caretaker's dwelling, is it possible to apply for aid for an energy investment related to the purpose of the property?
A: The share in residential use may not exceed 10% of the total surface area or cubic volume of the property. If the percentage is less than or below 10%, an aid application can be made for an investment whose costs are reduced by the percentage related to residential use. The residential use percentage may also be assessed on the basis of electricity consumption, if this can be shown using separate readings.
Q: Are LED lighting investments made as energy saving projects eligible for aid, if investments are also being made in smart control functionality?
A: They are not. The price of LED lighting has fallen as the technology has developed, and has become more profitable. In any case, most lighting investments are now based on LED lighting, so smart control is no longer sufficient to qualify for energy aid.