LIFE CEESEN-BENDER – Building intErventions in vulNerable Districts against Energy poveRty

Project number:



Duration of the project:

1. 9. 2023. – 31. 8. 2026.


Total value:

1,848,960 €


EU co-financing:

1,749,996 €


Coordinating beneficiary:

DOOR – Society for Sustainable Development Design (Croatia)



MENEA – Međimurska energetska agencija (Croatia), University of Tartu (Estonia), TREA – Tartu Regional Energy Agency (Estonia), CESSEN – Central and Eastern European Sustainable Energy Network (Estonia), Local Energy Agency Spodnje Podravje (Slovenia), ALEA – Alba Local Energy Agency (Romania), Municipality of Alba Iulia (Romania), Climate Alliance Germany (Germany), Mazovia Energy Agency (Poland)


Project description:

Buildings are responsible for 40% of Europe’s total energy consumption, and EU policy has prioritised the identification of dwellings and citizens at a higher risk of energy poverty in order to develop effective strategies for building renovation. In accordance with the energy efficiency first principle, building renovation must be prioritized when discussing the overall solution to energy poverty. In so doing, the least efficient building stock should be targeted first and split-incentive dilemmas and market failures should be addressed. Furthermore, addressing energy poverty, like energy transition in general, should be socially just and inclusive. The main objective of CEESEN-BENDER is to empower and support vulnerable homeowners and renters living in Soviet-era multi-apartment buildings in 5 CEE countries: Croatia, Slovenia, Estonia, Poland, and Romania. We will help them through the renovation process by identifying the main obstacles, and creating trustworthy support services that include homeowners, their associations, and building managers. We will create a support system for homeowners, municipalities, and other large owners of multi-apartment buildings (MABs) in our targeted regions to speed up the renovation process. The team will develop specific tools to help municipalities and large housing stock owners effectively identify energy poor households and implement schemes to reduce energy poverty. For the 5 pilot areas, we will create at least 30 building-level roadmaps that specify the technical details for renovations, targeting at least 1.500 apartments, and form a network of at least 30 energy professionals trained in consulting the target groups. We will train at least 3.500 homeowners, landlords and building managers on legal, financial, technical and other aspects of energy renovations, and will advocate for changes of regulatory requirements and policies to lower the costs and time needed for the preparatory phase of projects.