• Social Energy Renovations:

    Maximising social impact and boosting clean energy investments in sustainable renovation

    SER combines affordable financing & technical assistance, enabling sustainable building renovations for the third sector

    Improving social equality, health, wellbeing, productivity as well as overall social cohesion through building renovation

  • The Main Challenge

    Lack of affordable financing and technical support in building renovation

    The third sector or non-profit sector includes a range of non-profit organisations, associations, foundations, cooperatives, mutual associations, and social enterprises providing a broad range of services responsible for driving the social economy. This sector is composed of 28.3 million workers, representing 13% of the European workforce, and generates significant social impact.



    Yet, it remains underserved by the financial industry making it challenging for non-profits to obtain the financing necessary to sustainably renovate their buildings. The lack of financing has played a large part in the absence of third sector building renovations, as non-profit organisations typically do not have the means to fund renovations with their own resources or obtain cheap funding.

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    Our Integrated Solution

    SER tackles current barriers to renovation for the third sector by offering an integrated renovation solution that combines affordable financing and technical assistance, thus enabling easy and accessible sustainable building renovations for non-profits.


    This solution involves people-centric stakeholder engagement, standardised technical project design, impact monitoring, and up-front financing. The project aims to simplify renovation by digitising the renovation process and providing support through a streamlined ESCO service.


    Finally, SER enables a flow of private capital into the non-profit sector, thus maximising social and environmental impacts.

  • A strong and well-developed non-profit sector is a key driver in achieving a fair clean energy transition for all Europeans

  • Project Pillars

    Social enterprises gain access to affordable sustainable renovations, coupled with technical assistance, while investors gain access to secure high-impact investments aligned with ESG and impact investment criteria.
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    Innovative Financing Mechanism

    Design, set up, and implement an innovative de-risking financing mechanism in which energy service companies will be enabled to facilitate affordable sustainable building renovations in the third sector.


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    Technical Assistance


    SER provides improved technical assistance services through demand stimulation, standardisation, and digitisation. This promotes community training and development, data centralization, and audit standardisation.

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    Social Assessment


    Assess and capture the multiple benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy renovations to ensure that investments have a strong social and environmental impact.

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    Scaling Across Europe


    SER is focused on Italy, with further scaling foreseen in Bulgaria and France, and exploratory roundtables in Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Poland.


    Project phases

    SER is a 3-year project, funded by the European Commission


    Perform market research, profile third sector buildings and design the financing instrument


    Launch the financing platform and technical assistance service in Italy


    Gain traction in Italy and adapt and replicate in other European countries

  • SER is led by an experienced consortium with complementary competencies and all of the required expertise to meet the project ambitions

  • Project Impact

    Generating social, environmental and economic impact at community, national and European Union levels

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    893 tons/year

    of CO2 emissions saved within the project duration

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    1.7 GWh/year

    of renewable energy generated within the project duration

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    3.7 GWh

    reduction in energy consumption within the project duration

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    jobs will be created by 2029

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    generated in clean energy

    investments by 2029

  • The project's impact goes well beyond energy savings. It creates social impact by mitigating energy poverty and improving social equality, health, wellbeing, productivity, financial literacy as well as overall social cohesion.

  • News & Events

    Past and future SER-related news and events

    EUSEW Sustainable Energy Days: Fostering Sustainable Renovations in the Third sector

    October 28, 2021

    In light of the ambitious target set by the European Commission to make the EU the first carbon neutral continent by 2050, this event served as a platform to exchange lessons learnt and best practices supporting the uptake of sustainable and energy efficient measures in Europe’s social and non-profit sectors. Read more here.


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    ENEA Official Press Release (Italian)

    June 10, 2021

    SER enables sustainable building renovations in Italy's non-profit sector, but its benefits go beyond energy savings. In the next 5 years €200M will be invested in clean energy, 3000 jobs will be made & 900 tons of carbon dioxide will be mitigated. Read ENEA's full press release here.


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    SER Kick-off Meeting

    May 25 & 26, 2021

    The SER Project offically kicked-off in a hybrid setting, with several partners having participated digitally in the project's first Consortium Meeting hosted in Milan, Italy. Partners engaged in productive discussions about how to foster sustainable renovations in Italy's non-profit sector via the removal of their financial and technical barriers, and explored SER's replication in other EU countries.

  • Europeans tend to spend 90% of their time indoors, thus buildings have an enormous impact on people’s health, wellbeing and productivity. SER aims to improve these conditions within the third sector.

  • FAQs

  • SER brings together 7 organisations from 4 EU countries

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    GNE is a high impact investment company focused on providing financing for the built environment. GNE is a leader at leveraging finance to deliver innovative solutions that maximise social and environmental impact while delivering sustainable returns to capital providers.

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    FS is a consortium of non-profit organisations engaged in transferring sustainability to third sector organisations. It promotes resource efficiency and energy efficiency in order to cut costs and allow investments to flow into social and welfare activities, and also supports the third sector's green transition.

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    CGM created in 1998, supports the development of social cooperation among industries and plays a central role across the financial system supporting the consortium in managing relations with the banks and financial institutions of the territory.

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    ENEA is the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development which provides technical and scientific support and consultancy services to the public central administration (mainly the Ministry of Economic Development), regions and local bodies.

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    Politecnico di Milano is one of the most outstanding universities in Europe that hosts an international research center, TIRESIA (Technology Innovation and Research for Social Impact), dedicated to pursuing scientific excellence in the research on social impact and inclusive innovation.

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    A fully owned subsidiary of Econoler Inc. The firm boasts experience in renewable energy, energy performance contracting, and climate change mitigation and designs, implements and performs feasibility studies for financing mechanisms.

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    It is a non-profit organisation, officially recognised for public interest since 1962. SC has developed a new vision for society. It is mainly focused on fighting poverty and its causes. It is also involved in social and environmental transition.

  • Contact Us

  • Project Impact

    “Generating social, environmental and economic impact at community, country and the European Union levels”


    generated in clear energy investments over the course of 5 years after the project

    + 3,100

    jobs will be created within the 5 years following the project

    370,000 kWh/year

    of annual energy savings per building on average

    1,700,000 kWh/year

    of renewable energy generated within the project duration

    893 tons

    of CO2 emissions saved within project duration

  • Our Integrated Solution

    SER brings together an integrated solution by combining affordable financing and technical assistance to enable sustainable building renovations in the non-profit sector. This involves people-centric stakeholder engagement, standardised technical project design, impact monitoring, and up-front financing. The project aims to simplify renovation by digitising the renovation process and providing support through a streamlined ESCO service. Finally, SER enables private capital flow to the non-profit sector, thus maximising social and environmental impacts.

  • FAQs

    How is the project funded?

    The SER project received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, under grant agreement No 101024254. In the long term, the project is poised to galvanize commercial activities that would be economically self-sustaining via funding provided by private capital, impact investors and other investors to boost clean energy investments in the sector.

    Who can benefit from SER?

    Non-profit organisations aquire comfortable and sustainable energy-efficient buildings to continue supporting their local communities, while financial institutions and private investors gain access to secure, high impact investments aligned with the ESG criteria.

    What is the third sector or the non-profit sector?

    The third sector is an umbrella term that covers a range of different organisations with different structures and purposes, belonging neither to the public sector nor to the private sector. It includes a range of non-profit organisations (NPOs), associations, foundations, cooperatives, mutual associations, and social enterprises providing a broad range of services such as education, research, housing, counselling, workforce training and more.


    Third sector organisations operate at all levels of society, from the very local to the national and the international, and make a significant contribution to the health and well-being of society.

    Why is SER focused on the third sector?

    SER intends to kick-start the Renovation Wave for European non-profits (NPOs) by tackling current barriers to renovation. Through SER, the connection between the financial sector and the third sector will enable much-needed building renovations among these buildings and boosts economic, environmental, and most notably social impacts in the area, especially for the most vulnerable groups in society.


    It is imperative that the non-profit sector, with its extensive and heterogeneous buildings, is supported in the clean energy transition, as their adoption of sustainable buildings will create a substantial positive effect on the environment as well as on the society as a whole, due to an improvement of comfort, health, well-being, and productivity of third sector workers.

    How can ESCOs work together with SER?

    SER designs and deploys a de-risking financing mechanism that allows private Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) to offer affordable sustainable building renovation to non-profit organisations. Each investment is repaid via long-term service contracts signed between an energy service company and a building owner. ESCOs are encouraged to contact us for more information.

    Which countries is SER going to focus on?

    The focus of SER is on Italy. The project’s replication will be tested in Bulgaria and France during the project, while exploratory roundtables will be held in Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic, and Germany.