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Welcome to the RoSEFF FAQ Page

FAQs / Interpretation of RoSEFF Rules
This section serves two purposes:

  • User-friendly / readable FAQs – for the RoSEFF website
  • Working practices that represent the established interpretation of how to interpret various RoSEFF rules, resulting form discussions and correspondence between (variously) the PC, EBRD, PFIs and sometimes the EU.

FAQ about who is eligible to use RoSEFF 

  • Who may borrow from RoSEFF?
 

Three types of organisation may use RoSEFF:

1. Private sector Small and Medium Sized Enterprises  

    - If more than 50% of the shares are private, the company is considered private

    - For the definition of an SME, see the next FAQ  

2. Private sector housing associations (block association)
   - If 25% or more of the capital or voting rights of the association are controlled by public bodies, the association is not considered private so may not use RoSEFF. 

3.Energy Services Companies (ESCOs) 
- ESCOs who borrow using RoSEFF to provided energy efficiency services to third party energy consumers may use RoSEFF.

- The ESCO does not need to be an SME, but the final energy user does.

- Note that in the case of ESCO financing through RoSEFF, the EU grant goes to the final energy user, not the ESCO.

 Note that the borrower must also be creditworthy – meaning able to meet the lending requirements of BCR, BRD, BT or UniCredit.

 
  • What is the definition of an SME?
 

The simple definition is that an SME has:


- No more than 249 staff; and
 

- (either) a turnover of no more than 50 million Euro (or) assets on the balance sheet of no more than 43 million Euro.

Companies who meet these criteria and who are not part of a group and whose shareholders are not also significant shareholders in other companies, are clearly SMEs.

Companies who meet the simple definition, above, but who are part of a group of companies and/or whose shareholders are also significant shareholders in other companies may or may not be defined as SMEs.  In this case, the definition becomes complex, and is are set out in European Commission Recommendation of 6 May 2003 (OJ L 124, 20 May 2003, p. 36); incorporated into Romanian legislation as Law no. 346/2004.

This EU brochure clarifies the definition of an SME.  If you are still not sure whether your company is an SME, please contact the RoSEFF Help Desk for support.

 
  • May a company that recently grew to more than 249 staff use RoSEFF?
 

Maybe.  The legislation defining an SME is too complex to summarise here, but if your company is in this situation, please contact the RoSEFF Help Desk.

 
  • May a housing association (block association) use RoSEFF?
 

Yes – most housing associations may use RoSEFF.  The only exception is that if 25% or more of the capital or voting rights of the association are controlled by public bodies, the association is not considered private so may not use RoSEFF. 

 
  • May an Energy Service Company (ESCO) use the RoSEFF?
 

Yes. An ESCO - or Energy Service Company - uses a financing model whereby the ESCO invests in energy efficiency equipment - typically, but not always, a combined heat and power system - which is installed at the site of its client, who buys heat and power from the ESCO at an agreed price for an agreed number of years. At the end of the agreement, the equipment is normally transferred to the ownership of their client. This is known as a Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) agreement – but there are several variations on this basic model.

This benefits of financing energy efficiency investments through an ESCO as: 


• The client lowers its power and heat expenditure with no investment; and 


• The ESCO covers the cost of the capital, operations and financing, and makes a profit, by producing lower-cost heat and power and by reducing the overall energy consumption of its client through energy efficiency

The ESCO model is compatible with RoSEFF, subject to the following rules:
 

1. The company who uses the heat and power – not the ESCO – receives the EU grant;
 

2. The limit of 1 million Euro per sub-borrower does not apply to an ESCO – who may use facility multiple times for separate ESCO investments with different SMEs.
 

3. The requirement to meet the legal definition of an SME applies to the final energy user, not to the ESCO, who may be an SME or a large company.

Note that there is a special version of the RoSEFF Letter of Engagement for use in the case of ESCO financing, which must be signed/stamped by both the ESCO (as the future RoSEFF sub-borrower) and the final energy user (as the future recipient of the RoSEFF EU grant).

 
  • May an ESCO who is not an SME use RoSEFF?
 

Yes.  The ESCO’s client – who will benefit from the EU grant – must be a private sector SME, but the ESCO itself (borrower) may be a large, medium or small company.

 
  • Who is not eligible to use RoSEFF?
 

RoSEFF may not be used by:
 

- Large companies – with more than 249 staff, or who fail to in some other way to meet the legal definition of a SME.
 

- Some private sector companies – involved in activities such as gambling, weapons and activities on the EBRD environmental and social exclusion list.  Companies whose activity is to produce, package or distribute spirits or tobacco are not eligible to use RoSEFF. 

- Public sector companies, municipalities etc. are not eligible to use RoSEFF

 

FAQ about investments that may be financed using RoSEFF

  • What categories of investments are eligible to be financed using RoSEFF?
 

Five kinds of investments are eligible
 

1. Small and simple investments that are financed using sub-loans of up to 250,000 Euro in technologies selected from the List of Eligible Measures and Equipment (LEME)
 

2. Large or complex energy efficiency investments of any size that bring at least 20% energy savings or a 20% CO2 emissions reduction, and achieve at least a 10% Internal Rate of Return from energy savings.
 

3. Renewable energy investments – solar hot water, biomass, biogas are eligible. Some renewable electricity investments, such as small hydro, may be eligible if they can generate at least 3kWh/year per Euro invested, and achieve a positive Net Present Value. Investments in bio-fuels for transport are not eligible to be financed using RoSEFF.
 

4. Buildings - investments in that combine to lower energy use in an existing building by at least 30% may be financed using RoSEFF
 

5. Business expansion loans – to help suppliers of energy efficiency and renewable energy products and services to develop their businesses.

Note that in the case of 2,3 and 4 above - Tractebel Engineering will calculate the energy savings, CO2 emissions and economic performance indicators for you as part of the EU financed (free) technical consultancy package that is an integral feature of RoSEFF.

 
  • What are typical energy efficiency investments in industry and agriculture?
 

Examples of eligible Sub-projects in industry and agriculture include but are not limited to:
 

• On site co-generation of heat and electricity 
 

• Rehabilitation of boilers (enhanced controls, economizers, improved insulation, regenerative burners, automatic blow-down, etc.) 
 

• Replacement of old gas boilers with condensing boilers 
 

• Switch from electric heating to fuel based direct heating 
 

• Process improvements including enhanced controls 
 

• Rehabilitation of steam distribution systems: installation of steam traps, increased condensate recovery, etc. 
 

• Installation of heat recovery from processes (e.g., installation of economizers for pre-heating purposes, heat recovery for space heating, heat recovery for drying, etc.) 
 

• Installation of absorption chillers 
 

• Installation of new chillers 
 

• Installation of Variable Speed Drives on selected electric motors 
 

• Rehabilitation of compressed air systems (e.g., decentralisation and/or resizing of air compressors, replacing of old air compressors with new efficient ones) 
 

• Rehabilitation of power distribution systems (e.g., replacement of old or oversized transformers, installation of capacitors to reduce reactive power consumption, etc.) 
 

• Implementation of Energy Management Systems or Building Management Systems

 
  • What are typical energy efficiency and renewable energy investments in buildings?
 

Examples of eligible Sub-projects in buildings include but are not limited to:
• Replacement of old and low efficient boilers by new efficient ones with or without fuel switching;
• Implementation of on-site micro-cogeneration/tri-generation;
• Rehabilitation of heat substations and implementation of heat meters;
• Balancing of heating systems, implementation of individual heat control devices;
• Implementation of Building Management Systems;
• Replacement of existing windows with new, double-glazed windows, low-emission glazing;
• Thermal insulation of the building envelope (external walls, roofs, basements)
• Replacement of existing heating system with a new one (thermal insulation of pipes, tanks and machinery equipment);
• Installation of heat recovery from air ventilation system and/or processes (e.g. installation of economizers for pre-heating purposes);
• Replacement of existing low-efficient energy using processes (e.g.. cooling, washing, drying) with new, high efficient ones.
• Replacement of existing lighting with highly efficient lighting, dimming, daylight sensors, presence sensors, algorithmic lighting, grouping of luminaires; 
• Free cooling;
• Compressor replacement/rehabilitation;
• Additional shading (jalousies, structural elements etc);
• Frequency modulation of pumps, fans, drives and motors;
• Variable air-volume air-conditioning systems;
• Installation of rolling doors;
• Implementation of renewable energy systems in buildings (e.g. solar thermal collectors, biomass boilers, geothermal energy utilisation for heating and/or cooling with or without heat pump, surface water energy utilisation for heating and/or cooling with heat pump, solar heating and/or cooling)

 
  • May RoSEFF finance investments that are already under-way?
 

Sometimes an SME makes a down-payment or starts to implement an investment before approaching RoSEFF. In consultation with the EU, EBRD has defined the following cut-of-point point beyond which an investment is considered too advanced to be financed using RoSEFF:

• If prior to the signing of the Letter of Engagement or issuance of the AVIZ LEME certificate a sub-project is already under implementation and expenditure has been incurred by the potential sub-borrower (e.g. for a down payment to secure the equipment or for necessary preparatory works), the sub-project will only be eligible for financing and grant under RoSEFF if:

  i. Less than 30 per cent of the total investment costs net of VAT have been paid for before the acceptance date for the Participating Financing Institution by the European Commission and thus the core part of the investment plan is still underway.  (EC acceptance dates are 30.9.2011 for BCR; 9.2.2012 for BRD; 7.8.2012 for Banca Transilvania; and 19.12.2012 for UniCredit Tiriac Bank);

 ii. Only the portion of the investment implemented after that above-mentioned date is eligible for financing under RoSEFF.

iii. Re-financing of the sub-borrower's own sources already invested in the sub-project prior to the signature of the Letter of Engagement or the issuance of the AVIZ LEME certificate is allowed subject to i) and ii) above and technical eligibility confirmation from the Project Consultant, however this part of the investment is not eligible for the grant.

 
  • May RoSEFF finance private sector biomass heating for public sector district heating?
 

May RoSEFF finance biomass (or biogas) boiler or CHP system, where the heat is sold to a public sector district heating company.  If so, who gets the grant

Yes.  As this is a renewable energy investment, the EU grant goes to the private sector investor.  The form of ownership of the heat buyer is not germane to RoSEFF rules in the case of renewable energy that is produced for sale.

 
  • May RoSEFF finance small wind investments?
 

Very unlikely. Renewable electricity investments must be able to generate 3kWh/year/Euro invested in order to be financed using RoSEFF. This is unlikely to be achievable, taking into account Romania's wind speeds and today's wind energy investment costs.

 
  • May RoSEFF finance PV investments?
 

No. Renewable electricity investments must be able to generate 3kWh/year/Euro invested in order to be financed using RoSEFF. This is clearly not achievable with today's PV technologies.

 
  • May RoSEFF finance small hydro that uses an existing dam?
 

Yes (case-by-case).

RoSEFF was designed only for ‘run–of–river’ hydro investments – not construction of a new dam. However, hydro investments that use an existing dam are potentially eligible, subject to the outcome of an EU-financed Environmental Eligibility Test and an EU-financed Rational Energy Utilisation Plan, that are required to demonstrate that the investment fully meets RoSEFF eligibility rules.

 
  • May RoSEFF finance components of greenfield investments?
 

The answer depends on the type of investment and whether it is financed using the RoSEFF procedure for ‘large or complex’ investments, or ‘small and simple’ investments.
• For ‘large or complex’ investments in energy efficiency – no.
  - If there is no energy consumption at present, it is not possible to demonstrate that energy has been saved.
• For ‘large or complex’ renewable energy investments - yes
  - Greenfield renewable energy investments are compatible with RoSEFF
• For ‘small and simple’ – in energy efficiency - yes
  - Equipment selected from the List of Eligible Measures and Equipment (LEME) does not need to replace anything.

 
  • May RoSEFF finance growing energy crops?
 

No.

 
  • May RoSEFF be used to buy a pellet machine?
 

Yes – as a RoSEFF business expansion loan (so no EU grant).

 
  • Is it possible to buy from a supplier with same shareholding as a sub-borrower?
 

In the case that the equipment within a RoSEFF sub-loan is procured from a company with the same or related shareholders as the sub-borrower, this is considered to be an inter-group sale. This situation may be compatible with RoSEFF, based on:
• Either - the price at which the equipment was first procured by the group, not at the price of the subsequent inter-group sale;
• Or - based on at least three offers to be provided by the sub-borrower, to be critically reviewed by the Project Consultant, that demonstrates clearly that the price paid by the sub-borrower is consistent with the typical market price for similar equipment

 
  • May RoSEFF finance second-hand equipment?
 

Yes – for 'large or complex' investments. If an EU-financed Rational Energy Utilisation Plan demonstrates that an investment in second-hand equipment meets RoSEFF energy savings and other rules, the investment is eligible.
 
No – for 'small and simple' investments.  Only new equipment may be financed from the List of Eligible Measures and Equipment (LEME).

 
  • How can I know for certain if my investment proposal is eligible?
 

Please contact RoSEFF Help Desk on 031 224 8104, seff@seff.ro.

 

FAQ about RoSEFF application procedures

  • What are procedures for ‘large or complex’ and ‘small and simple’ projects?
 

A ‘large or complex’ investment –
• May be of any value – including RoSEFF financing of up to 1 million Euro
• Technical eligibility to be financed using RoSEFF is demonstrated with an EU financed (free) study – ‘Rational Energy Utilisation Plan’ - by Tractebel Engineering.

A ‘small and simple’ investment –
• Costs up to 250 000 Euro
• Is only for equipment listed on the List of Eligible Measures and Equipment (LEME)
• Technical eligibility to be financed using RoSEFF is demonstrated with a Certificate of Technical Eligibility (‘AVIZ LEME’), which you may generated online in around five minutes.

 
  • How long to procedures for ‘large or complex’ investments take?
 

An investment can start in as little as three weeks if everything runs very smoothly, but more typically the entire procedure takes two or three months.  The rate of progress is influenced by:
• The Applicant
• The Participating Financial Institution (PFI)
• The Consultant
• The complexity of the investment

Specific steps that influence the rate of progress include.
1. The Applicant issues a Letter of Engagement – which only takes five minutes to prepare, but nothing can start until this formal document is in place.
2. The PFI issues an Agreement in Principle (Green Light) to Tractebel Engineering – indicating its willingness-in-principle to lend to your company. This step is to prevent RoSEFF resources being used to finance a technical study that does not lead to an investment. Some technical work by the consultant may take place while waiting for Green Light, in order to determine whether the proposed investment meets the technical eligibility rules of RoSEFF – but detailed work on a study will not commence until a Green Light has been received.
3. The Applicant and Tractebel Engineering exchange technical data. The speed of this step is influenced by the complexity of the investment and how quickly the Applicant responds to requests for technical data.
4. When all the necessary technical data has been provided by the applicant, Tractebel Engineering will prepare a free (EU financed) Rational Energy Utilisation Plan – which typically takes around three weeks.

As can be seen, the length of time is influenced by all parties involved.  If a Letter of Engagement, Green Light and exchange of technical data all take place on Day 1 – the investment may be ready for financing in three weeks.

 
  • How long does procedures for ‘small and simple’ investments take?
 

Five minutes!

• Select the equipment that you would like to buy from the List of Eligible Measures and Equipment (LEME)
• Generate a Certificate of Technical Eligibility (‘AVIZ LEME’), online, today.

Then take your AVIZ LEME to the Participating Financial Institution of your choice to apply for financing.  Remember, that
• If you have one AVIZ LEME – the EU grant will be 10%
• If you have two or more AVIZE LEME (for different Measures), the EU grant will be 15% for both/all of the measures.

 
  • Who do I contact regarding a RoSEFF credit and EU grant?
 

Either – contact any of the Participating Financial Institutions:
• BCR
• BRD
• BT
• UniCredit

 

Or - contact the RoSEFF Helpdesk at Tractebel Engineering for advice/support
• 031 224 8104, seff@seff.ro

Or – apply online through this website
• For a ‘small and simple’ investment of up to 250,000 Euro
  - Choose equipment from the List of Eligible Measures and Equipment (LEME)
• For a ‘large or complex’ investment of any size
  - Submit a ‘Letter of Engagement’ to seff@seff.ro to apply

 
  • Who are the Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs)?
 

Four Romanian banks are part of RoSEFF so far:
• Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR)
• BRD Groupe Societe Generale (BRD)
• Banca Transilvania (BT)
• UniCredit Tiriac Bank (UniCredit)

 

Note that if you click the logos of the PFIs on the homepage of www.seff.ro, you will be taken to pages about BCR, BRD, BTor UniCredit’s specific RoSEFF financing products.

 
  • Which Participating Financial Institution (bank) should I use?
 

The RoSEFF Consortium is equidistant and impartial between the PFIs, and will not advise you about which bank to select, nor about their interest rates, grace periods or other conditions. You should discuss this kind of issue directly with the bank that you select.

 
  • What are the step-by-step application procedures?
 

There are two ways to apply to RoSEFF, for:
• Fast track route for 'small and simple' investments of up to 250,000 EUR 
- Select the equipment you would like to buy from the List of Eligible Measures and Equipment (LEME) at www.seff.ro 
- Generate a Certificate of Technical Eligibility (AVIZ LEME) – which will be sent to you instantly by email. 
- Take your AVIZ LEME to the Participating Financial Institution of your choice. 

• Normal route (which is also quite fast) for ‘large or complex’ investments.
1. Discuss technical eligibility with Tractebel Engineering and financial eligibility with any Participating Financial Institution (PFI).
2. Sign a (one page) standard Letter of Engagement, copied the PFI you would like to use.
3. The PFI issues an 'green light' to Tractebel Engineering – indicating its willingness-in-principle to lend to your company. This step is to help prevent RoSEFF resources being used to finance a technical study that does not lead to an investment. 4. Tractebel Engineering prepares a technical study to support your investment proposal – meaning a Rational Energy Utilization Plan and, if needed, an Energy Audit. 
5. Sign your loan agreement with any PFI, and use the funds to invest in energy efficiency or renewable energy.
6. Independent consultants (MWH) prepare a Verification Report – to confirm that the investment is complete, working and is the investment described in the study.
7. The PFI pays your EU grant within 30 working days from acceptance by EBRD of the Verification Report.

 

FAQ about the List of Eligible Measures and Equipment (LEME)

  • What is LEME?
 

The List of Eligible Measures and Equipment describes products that are already defined as meeting the technical eligibility rules.  A technical study is not required if you would like to invest in these measures.  Just select the equipment that you would like to buy, generate a Certificate of Technical Eligibility (AVIZ LEME), and go to the participating financial institution (PFI) of your choice to apply for a credit. 

Two broad categories of equipment on the LEME

• Generically eligible equipment
- For example, all condensing gas boilers and all LED lighting systems are eligible
• Defined equipment
- Specific named, brands and models

The maximum value of a single RoSEFF credit using this ‘fast track’ procedure is 250,000 Euro.

The corresponding EU grant is 10% if you borrow to invest in a single measure from the LEME – or 15% if two or more investments are carried out using the same RoSEFF credit.

 
  • LEME – what is a ‘Measure’ and how does it impact the EU grant?
 


The EU grant for items selected from the LEME is:
• 10% for a single measure; and
• 15% for two or more measures financed using the same RoSEFF credit

For example
• A 60,000 Euro investment in a Tractor attracts an EU grant of 10% (6,000 Euro)
• A 60,000 Euro investment in a Tractor (40,000 Euro) and a LED lighting system (20,000 Euro) attracts an EU grant of 15% (9,000 Euro).

 
  • LEME – what is the precise definition of a ‘Measure’?
 


The precise definition of a ‘Measure’ is important as it determines whether your investment in two or more items will raise the corresponding EU grant from 10% to 15%.

 A 'Measure' must meet three criteria

1.  Refer to equipment that is listed on the LEME;

2. Fall into one of defined Measures, below.  Note that multiple instances of the same Measure represent only a single measure – for example, two tractors represents one measure; but a tractor and a compressor represents two measures;

3. Measures that cost less than 5% of the value of a LEME-based RoSEFF credit extended under the procedure for Small and Simple investments do not raise the percentage of the EU grant. This rule prevents manipulation of the grant rules. For example, the EU grant for a tractor and a single 'A' rated light bulb is 10%, not 15%.   

• The Measures are:
 1. Electric motors with VSDs and VSDs only;
 2. Energy management system;
 3. Wall insulation;
 4. Roof insulation;
 5. Termopan windows and doors;
 6. Lighting (LED, 'A' rated, light pipes);
 7. Compressors;
 8. Tractors;
 9. Combine harvesters;
10. Solar hot water systems;
11. Biogas systems;
12. Ground source heat pump system; 
13. Boilers;
14. Burners;
15. Infra-red gas heaters;
16. Small scale cogeneration unit;

 
  • LEME – does a ‘Measure’ have a minimum value?
 

Yes.  It is not possible to make a tiny investment in a ‘second measure’ only in order to raise the value of the EU grant from 10% to 15%.

Measure that cost less than 5% of the value of a LEME-based RoSEFF credit extended under the procedure for Small and Simple investments do not raise the percentage of the EU grant.  

For example, the EU grant for a tractor and a single 'A' rated light bulb is 10%, not 15%.

 
  • LEME - may the same company borrow more than 250,000 Euro?
 

A single RoSEFF credit using the fast-track procedure for 'small and simple' investments may be for no more than 250,000 Euro.

The same company may choose to use the LEME again, borrowing up 1 million Euro in total using successive RoSEFF credits of up to 250,000 Euro. 

 
  • LEME – is there a requirement to replace existing equipment?
 

No. Energy efficiency equipment on the LEME exceeds business-as-usual standards of energy performance, so, at portfolio level, brings substantial energy savings when replacing existing equipment and minimises energy use in new applications. Renewable energy equipment on the LEME always represents a more sustainable alternative than fossil-fuel based solutions.

 
  • LEME - may equipment be used for investments in new buildings?
 

No.  RoSEFF may not be used for investments in new buildings that are already subject to energy efficiency standards set at national level.  This restriction applies for all RoSEFF sub-projects – including small or simple investments financed using LEME.

 
  • LEME - may ‘A’ rated TVs, monitors etc. be added to the LEME?
 

No.  However, it may be possible to finance replacement of this type of equipment using the RoSEFF procedure for ‘large or complex’ investments on the basis of a study that demonstrates that RoSEFF energy saving and other rules are satisfied.

 
  • LEME – what is EU grant for two measures from separate RoSEFF credits?
 

10%. The higher EU grant of 15% for multiple measures only applies when both measures are financed from the same RoSEFF credit.

 
  • LEME – is listing equipment on the LEME free? (Yes!)
 

LEME is an open list, and listing your equipment on it is free.

The only restriction is that equipment listed on the LEME must meet defined technical specifications, as described on this website.

 
  • LEME – must equipment to be installed/working before receiving the EU grant?
 

Yes.  The Verification Consultant will verify that the equipment has been procured, delivered and correctly installed.

 

FAQ about the List of Equipment Suppliers and Installers (LESI)

  • What is LESI?
 

The List of Equipment Suppliers and Installers (LESI) contains companies that sell and/or install products that appear on the List of Eligible Measures and Equipment (LEME).

 
  • LESI – is it necessary to use a supplier or installer from the LESI?
 

No.  

The LESI is for guidance only and is not intended as an exclusive list - LEME investments procured from other suppliers and installers may be financed using RoSEFF, so:

• Equipment must be selected from the LEME; but
• The equipment supplier and installer do not need to selected from the LESI;

 
  • LESI – what are the advantages of registration?
 

Registration on the LESI two advantages
1 - You may list the equipment that you sell on the LEME (providing that it meets the published technical eligibility rules).
2 - Your name and contact details appear as an Annex to Certificates of Technical Eligibility (AVIZ LEME) generated by SMEs who want to buy the equipment you sell.
3. Registration is free!

 
  • LESI – the equipment I sell is already on the LEME – so should I register?
 

It is not necessary for you to register – as a Certificate of Technical Eligibility (AVIZ LEME) generated for the same equipment that you sell applies to your equipment also.

The advantage of registration is that your name will appear as an annex. to every Certificate of Eligibility (AVIZ LEME) generated for that product.  So – SMEs who want to invest in the product that you sell will find out that you are a supplier
 

 
  • LESI – what kind of companies are listed?
 

Companies on the LESI are typically manufacturers, manufacturer-authorised suppliers, specialist suppliers and qualified installers.
• For specialist technologies such as ground-source heat pumps - registration on LESI is strongly encouraged.
• For ‘mass market’ technologies – such as thermal insulation materials for buildings – although materials may be registered on the LESI, it would not make sense to try to list every building materials supplier in Romania.

 
  • LESI – what are the requirements for being listed on LESI?
 

RoSEFF places no restriction on who supplies or installs equipment.  Appearance of a company on the LESI is not a condition of using RoSEFF.  However, companies who DO appear on the LESI must demonstrate that they are specialist dealers and specialist installers – not general dealers or general installers.

Specialist suppliers – meaning manufacturers, manufacturer authorised dealers, specialist dealers, stockists and qualified installers of energy efficiency and renewable energy equipment, with an appropriate NACE code, may be accepted on the LESI without the need for documentation.

General suppliers whose NACE code and activities show no apparent connection with energy efficiency or renewable energy may also be listed on the LESI if they can demonstrate the ability to provide:
• staff that are qualified for installing equipment in accordance with local legislation;
• necessary registrations and licences to perform the services;
• adequate insurance;
• capacity to maintain installed equipment where necessary; and
• adequate resources and the ability to implement sub-projects of a good quality on schedule and budget.

 
  • LESI – is it necessary to use a LESI-registered supplier or installer?
 

No – the investor is free to select any supplier and any appropriately qualified installer

 

FAQ about RoSEFF credits

  • May RoSEFF part-finance investments of more than 1 million Euro?
 

Yes. 

There is no upper limit to the size of the investment financed using RoSEFF, but:
• Normally no more than 1 million Euro of borrowing may be a ‘RoSEFF credit’
• For investments of more than 1 million Euro, the balance of financing may come from other borrowing or from the investors own financial resources.  The only sources of financing that may not be used together with RoSEFF are other EU-subsidised financing sources, such as Structural Funds.
• In exceptional circumstances, it may be possible to borrow more than 1 million Euro from the RoSEFF credit line of a PFI, subject to the agreement of EBRD, but the corresponding EU grant may not exceed 150,000 EUR.
• Although there is no limit to the value of an investment, there are some technical limits that have the effect of limiting the value of the investment. For example, energy efficiency, investments that increase production capacity are compatible with RoSEFF, but if capacity more than doubles then RoSEFF financing is limited to that proportion of the investment cost that represents a doubling of the original capacity.

 
  • Are multiple 1 million Euro sub-projects by same sub-borrower possible?
 

There is no cumulative limit on the total value of the sub-loans/sub-projects with one single client, but in the spirit of the diversification and increasing transition impact of this facility, repeated sub-projects/sub-loans with the same client to avoid the maximum amount per sub-loan are discouraged.

This limitation does not apply to ESCOs, who are encouraged to carry out multiple sub-projects with multiple final energy users.  

 
  • What is the minimum value of a RoSEFF sub-loan?
 

For operational reasons, 25,000 Euro is recommended as a minimum sub-loan value, but Participating Financial Institutions are able to extend smaller RoSEFF sub-loans if they wish.

 
  • What is the interest rate?
 

Please discuss loan conditions with one or more of the Participating Financial Institution (PFI) from whom you would like to borrow. Each has its own commercial terms and conditions. The interest rate is not subsidised. The EU subsidy pays for:
• The EU grants – which are paid by the PFI from whom you borrow.
• Project management and technical consultancy from consultants Tractebel Engineering 
• Verification that the investment is complete by consultants MWH

 
  • What proportion of an investment may be financed using RoSEFF?
 

Up to 100%.

 
  • What currency is used - RON or EUR?
 

The currency of the RoSEFF credit depends on the agreement between the participating financial institution (PFI) and the SME who borrows, so it may be RON or EUR.  The EU grants are paid in Euro directly to the final borrower by the PFI.

 
  • Is leasing possible with RoSEFF?
 

Yes.

EBRD designed RoSEFF with an option for Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) to create leasing products alongside lending products.

Only Banca Transilvania has chosen to introduce leasing, through BT Leasing.

 

FAQ about verification

  • How and why are investments financed using RoSEFF verified?
 

Before an EU grant may be paid, an independent verification is required to ensure that the energy efficiency or renewable investment has taken place, and is now saving energy or using renewable energy sources in accordance with RoSEFF rules. The company MWH SpA has been engaged by EBRD to perform this work, which may be performed in either of two ways:

On-site verification
• All ‘large or complex' investments financed using RoSEFF receive a site visit by the Verification Consultant.  Around 20% of ‘small and simple’ investments are also visited.

Desktop verification
• Most ‘small and simple’ investments are verified remotely, based on a review of documentation such as photos and invoices. EBRD decides which ‘small and simple’ investments receive a full on-site verification, and which receive a lighter 'desktop verification'.

 

FAQ about RoSEFF EU grants

  • How much is the RoSEFF EU grant?
 

EU Grants of up to 15% of the value of the eligible RoSEFF sub-loan are available for SMEs who invest using RoSEFF.

The size of grant depends on the value and type of investment. The basic rules are: 
• 15% grants for most energy efficiency and renewable energy investments 
• 10% grant for small, isolated measures or measures that bring small energy savings
• No grants for business expansion loans to companies who manufacturer or supply energy efficiency and renewable energy products.

For a detailed answer about the size of your EU grant, and how it will be calculated, please visit our EU Grants page.

 
  • Who receives the EU grant?
 

The answer depends on the kind of investment.

• Energy efficiency investments – the final energy user receives the EU grant
- In most cases, the borrower and the final energy user are one-and-the-same;
- In cases of third party financing (ESCO financing) – the ESCO borrows but final energy user (the client of the ESCO) receives the EU grant.

• Renewable energy supply investments – the borrower/investor receives the EU grant
- In some cases, the borrower and the final energy user are the same;
- In other cases, the final energy user may be a power network, district heating company or another third party – but the EU grant goes to the investor.

 
  • Who pays the EU grant, and when?
 

EU grants are disbursed by EBRD to the PFI to the sub-borrower.  The funds should normally reach the account of the sub-borrower within 30 business days of receipt by EBRD of a monthly report on sub-projects that were successfully verified during the previous period.

 
  • Is the EU grant more likely to be 10% or 15%?
 

For ‘large and complex’ investments, the grant is likely to be 15%.  Our experience with another EU EBRD facility – EEFF – suggests that the vast majority of investments financed using RoSEFF will perform well enough to be awarded the higher EU grant.  See EEFF News which shows energy savings of a wide range of investments.

For ‘small and simple’ investments financed from the List of Eligible Measures and Equipment (LEME), the size of the EU grant is entirely up to the investor, as:
• Select one measure from the LEME – and the grant is 10%
• Select multiple measures from the LEME – and the grant (for all measures) is 15%

 
  • May RoSEFF be combined with Structural Funds?
 

No. Two EU grants may not be used for same investment.  The same company may use both RoSEFF and Structural Funds – but not for the same investment.

 
  • Is the EU grant payable on the VAT component of the investment?
 

No. For example, if an energy-saving investment costs 100,000 Euro + VAT, the grant payable is 15% of 100,000Euro - meaning 15,000 EUR.

 
  • Are EU grants from RoSEFF State Aid?
 

No.

 

FAQ about organisations and companies involved in the RoSEFF

  • What is the role of the EU?
 

The European Union has provided a grant to pay for:
• EU grants for companies who borrow from the RoSEFF 
• Financing the work of the Project Consultant
• Financing the work of the Verification Consultant
• Incentives for participating financial institutions

The main eligibility rules for RoSEFF are set by the EU

 
  • What is the role of EBRD?
 

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Developments has four main roles:
• Overall management of the RoSEFF; 
• Lending 60 million Euro to the participating financial institutions PFIs (Romanian banks); 
• Contracting technical consultancy from consultants Tractebel Engineering and MWH; and 
• Paying the EU grants to PFIs, who in turn pay them to their clients who borrow.

 
  • Who are the participating financial institutions, and what is their role?
 

There are four PFIs:
• Banca Comerciala Romana (BCR) - who has borrowed 20 million Euro from EBRD to on-lend to its customers under the RoSEFF 
• BRD Groupe Societe Generale (BRD) - who has borrowed 20 million Euro from EBRD to on-lend to its customers under the RoSEFF 
• Banca Transilvania (BT) - who has borrowed 10 million Euro from EBRD to on-lend to its customers under the RoSEFF
• UniCredit Tiriac Bank (UniCredit) - who has borrowed 10 million Euro from EBRD to on-lend to its customers under the RoSEFF

 

 
  • Who is, and what is the role of, the Project Consultant?
 


The Project Consultant is the 'RoSEFF Consortium' which consists of Tractebel Engineering S.A. (Consortium Leader); Shorebank International Ltd., and Romnet Creative S.R.L.

Working under contract to EBRD, the RoSEFF Consortium brings management, engineering, finance, training and marketing skills to support Participating Financial Institutions and Sub-Borrowers.

 
  • Who is, and what is the role of Verification Consultant?
 


MWH SpA verifies that energy efficiency and renewable energy investments financed using RoSEFF are complete. The resulting Verification Report by MWH is the basis upon which the EU grant may be paid.

 

FAQ about free technical consultancy

  • What services does Tractebel Engineering provide for borrowers?
 

Tractebel Engineering will prepare a package of technical and economic documentation to support your loan/grant application. We also have a wider role, as leader of the RoSEFF Consortium, to market, administrate and monitor the RoSEFF.

 
  • More specifically, what kind of documentation will Tractebel Engineering prepare?
 

For ‘Small and Simple’ investments, Tractebel Engineering maintains that List of Eligible Measures and Equipment (LEME) at www.seff.ro.
• The LEME may be used to generate a Certificate of Technical Eligibility (AVIZ LEME), to support RoSEFF credits of up to 250,000 Euro each.

For ‘Large or Complex’ investments, Tractebel Engineering prepares technical-economic study called a Rational Energy Utilisation Plan (REUP) which demonstrate that it meets the RoSEFF eligibility rules.  The complexity of the study reflects the type and complexity of the proposed investment.  The study may be:
• A ‘full’ REUP, supported if necessary by an Energy Audit
• A ‘simplified’ REUP
• A ‘mini’ REUP – for very simple, straightforward investments

Selection of the type of REUP depends on complexity of the investment, needs of the investor, and whether there is already some technical documentation in place.

• An Energy Audit, if required, may contain: energy balance of the industrial operations (if applicable); analysis of production costs associated to energy use (if applicable); technical feasibility analysis of the proposed sub-projects; identification of additional feasible sustainable energy opportunities; financial plan (capital investment appraisal): cash flow analysis of a proposed investment(s) and profitability analysis; assessment of anticipated energy saved and/or generated through the investment; assessment of compliance with applicable environmental, health and safety laws, regulations and standards; implementation plan of the investment including assessment of the permits required for the construction and operation of the investments included; analysis of greenhouse gases emissions reduction resulting from the implementation of the investment and assessment of the scope for a carbon credit transaction under an applicable emissions trading regime.

• A REUP, if required which may incorporate the results of the Energy Audit, describes the financing plan and implementation schedule, and summary recommendation regarding the proposed investment. A typical ‘full’ REUP will show a description of the investment and how it meets the RoSEFF eligibility criteria; a cost-benefit analysis with estimates of energy, financial and CO2 savings; the IRR, NPV and other ratios and indicators of the investment's economic and environmental performance; a schedule of key tasks from design through to commissioning; a check list for MWH to use when validating completion; recommendations for further energy efficiency improvements; an environment, health and safety assessment with associated recommendations; and a summary of the client, its business and financial statements to support the bank's credit evaluation process. An indicative Table of Contents for a full REUP is provided.  ‘Simplified’ or ‘mini’ REUPs provide less detail, but always contain enough information to show that the investment meets the RoSEFF eligibility rules.

 
  • What service will MWH provide for borrowers
 

MWH will prepare a Verification Report when your energy efficiency investment is complete. The report is the documentary basis upon which the PFI may transfer the EU Grant to your bank account.

• For Large or Complex investments, verification will incorporate a site visit to see the energy efficiency or renewable energy investment in place and working;
• For Small and Simple investments, verification may involve a site visit or may be carried out remotely (desktop verification) based on documentation only.

 
  • Are the services of Tractebel Engineering, SBI, Romnet Creative and MWH free?
 

Yes. The consultants are financed by the EU through EBRD.

Tractebel Engineering (together with SBI and Romnet Creative) and MWH each won international tenders to become, respectively, Project Consultant and Verification Consultant for RoSEFF.

 

Miscellaneous FAQs

  • What is the RoSEFF - in a nutshell
 

RoSEFF is a fast-track grant-supported credit line that has been established by the European Commission and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Romanian private sector Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, Energy Service Companies and associations of households are eligible to use the facility as sub-borrowers. RoSEFF sub-loans may be extended by Participating Financial Institutions(PFI), which include BCR, BRD, BT and UniCredit. Large or Complex investment proposals may receive free (EU financed) technical consultancy by Tractebel Engineering S.A. and sub-loans of up to 1 million Euro towards investments of any value. Small and Simple investments proposals costing up to 250,000 Euro may be financed from a published List of Eligible Measures and Equipment (LEME), without the need for a study. When the investment is complete and operating, a verification report is issued by consultants MWH SpA, based upon which a non-reimbursable EU Grant of 10% or 15% (see detailed rules) is paid to the sub-borrower by the PFI.

 
  • Where does the money come from?
 

Loan financing comes from a 60million Euro EBRD loan fund for Romanian participating financial institutions to on-lend to their customers. Grant financing comes for the EU, who finance non-reimbursable payments to SMEs who use the facility (EU grants); the work of consultants Tractebel Engineering, SBI, Romnet Creative and MWH; and a subsidy for the participating financial institutions.

 
  • Is applying for an RoSEFF loan/grant difficult and bureaucratic?
 

No - it's easy and straightforward to use!

• ‘Small and Simple’ investments - it takes only five minutes to generate a Certificate of Technical Eligibility (AVIZ LEME) for equipment selected from the online List of Eligible Measures and Equipment (LEME).
• ‘Large or Complex’ investments take longer, of course, but as they benefit from free (EU financed) technical consultancy from Tractebel Engineering, even a complex investment proposal can move from idea to implementation in a matter of a few weeks.

 
  • If my investment proposal is rejected by the RoSEFF, may I appeal?
 

Yes.

The role of the Project Consultant is to work in partnership with the prospective sub-borrower to identify and develop energy efficiency and renewable energy investment proposals that are compatible with published RoSEFF rules.  Similarly, the role of the Verification Consultant is to verify that the investments financed using RoSEFF are complete, and issue a Verification Report as the basis upon which the EU grant may be paid.

A prospective sub-borrower who disagrees with the evaluation of the Project Consultant or Verification Consultant regarding the eligibility of a proposed sub-project has the right to appeal using the following procedure.   It is also possible to appeal a decision of the Verification Consultant, using the same procedure.

There are two levels of appeal.

1st level: within 30 working days of a written decision that an investment proposal does not meet the eligibility rules of RoSEFF, the prospective sub-borrower submits in writing a justified request to reconsider the decision, with any additional documentation that would support the request. The submission may be in English or Romanian language

Within five working days from the receipt of the request, the Project Consultant evaluates any new data and arguments and submits its justified answer to the prospective sub-borrower.

2nd level: The prospective sub-borrower may appeal a negative decision of the 1st level by submitting a letter to the EBRD within 20 working days. The request to EBRD should be in English language stating the case for reconsideration, along with an English translation of the Application, the original negative announcement and the correspondence of the 1st level above. Any supporting documentation must be also submitted in English.

A written response to the appeal will be sent by EBRD to the prospective sub-borrower within 30 working days from receiving the appeal request. The decision of EBRD is final.

Written correspondence during the appeal procedure may be by mail, electronic mail or fax.

 
  • How long will the RoSEFF be available
 

The RoSEFF will be available until 60 million Euro of sub-loans have been disbursed.

 
  • Where is the RoSEFF Project Office?
 

At Tractebel Engineering - Str. Alexandru Constantinescu 6 - Bucharest.

 

About these FAQs

  • Does this FAQ page provide definitive answers?
 

No - these are short answers to typical questions. Full eligibility criteria are, available, but quite long and involved.

 
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If you have a question that is not answered clearly on this site, please contact the RoSEFF Help Desk on 031 224 8104, or send a message to seff@seff.ro

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