Poland—Polish Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (PolSEFF I & II)

Client: European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Duration: 2010-2018

Region: Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Country: Poland

Solutions: Economic Growth Environment

We created a perpetual market for investments in efficient energy by Poland’s local businesses by training financial institutions on how to appraise and finance sensible energy projects; detailing for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) the competitive advantages of investing in energy-efficient materials and equipment; and training local experts to assist SMEs in identifying and preparing technically feasible, bankable projects. Following the success of the first phase of the program, PolSEFF II provided a new energy efficiency credit line through local participating financial institutions. The facility provided up to a €200 million credit line, following the previous phase’s €180 million disbursal, through a framework to commercial banks and leasing companies in Poland for on-lending to SMEs to finance investments in energy efficiency and small-scale renewable energy. This work helped build lasting capacity for this type of finance in Poland, which was highly reliant on foreign energy.

Across more than 2,000 projects in all 16 of Poland’s provinces, PolSEFF helped the country’s private sector achieve annual energy savings of 342,000-megawatt hours and avoid more than 100,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year—the equivalent of the annual energy consumption of 44,000 Polish households and carbon dioxide emissions of 50,000 cars.

Sample Activities

  • Assess the financial case for financing proposed efficient energy projects.
  • Help borrowers compile the data required for the assessment.
  • Make on-site recommendations of suitable projects.
  • Implement strategic marketing—including the use of case studies—to promote the Facility to the Ministry of Economy, banks, business associations, and others.
  • Develop the Facility website.
  • Promote this financing solution with suppliers of efficient energy equipment so they can sell it to potential customers.
  • Ensure transfer of skills to financial institutions, local engineers, and SMEs to sustain the efficient energy market in Poland.

Select Results

  • Established partnerships with five major financial institutions, which financed 2,012 efficient-energy projects from more than 1,900 small firms; trained 200 staff of financial institutions on how to responsibly finance projects; and developed a website and equipment with a database of more than 700 registered companies and 7,000 eligible products.
  • Honored with the Financing Deal of the Year award at the 2016 Central and Eastern European Clean Energy Awards.
  • Developed the List of Eligible Materials and Equipment (LEME), an online searchable catalogue of pre-approved energy-efficient products. The LEME continues to be widely utilized by lenders and borrowers, with more than 70 percent of products purchased and leased under PolSEFF coming from the catalogue.
  • Trained 840 staff at five financial institutions.


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