UFI – a BMNT funding program for eco-friendly investments

The UFI is an eco-friendly funding program that creates also positive effects for investment, health and employment in Austria.

The “Umweltförderung im Inland” (UFI), an eco-friendly funding program, was established by the Austrian Environmental Subsidy Act (Umweltförderungsgesetz), effective since 1993.

Via the program the Austrian Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism (BMNT) supports investments that have a positive environmental effect in the private and business context. The main focus of the program – running only on non-repayable grants – is climate protection (alto taking into account reduction in air pollution, noise exposure and waste accumulation).

Furthermore, the overall Environmental Subsidy Act also covers programs focusing on residential water management, remediation of contaminated sites and international climate-finance ...

The positive effects of the UFI

In 2018 UFI funding of nearly EUR 64 million was granted for 7986 projects, which accounted for an overall investment of EUR 650 million in Austria. These projects will lead to annual energy savings of approx. 620,654 MWh and to annual CO2 reductions of approx. 315,133 tons.

In addition budget is also allocated to the energy-efficient renovation of buildings and the replacement of fossil-based heating boilers. (“Sanierungsoffensive and “raus aus dem Öl”)

By February 2019 funding of nearly EUR 42.7 million, was granted for 8.586 projects, leading to an investment volume of EUR 343.6 million. These projects will generate annual energy savings of approx. 81,997 MWh and annual CO2 reductions of approx. 61,275 tons.

How is the UFI working?

The Environmental Subsidy Act regulates the organization and principles as well as the form of financing. The task of granting funding for environmental actions in the context of UFI is executed by the Minister for Sustainability and Tourism. Besides determining the specific criteria for granting and setting the aims for the funding policy via guidelines the Minister decides on granting subsidies.

A Commission for issues Relating to Environmental Support in Austria is implemented. It offers advice to the Federal Minister for Sustainability and Tourism regarding the policies and the decisions for grants for each project. The Commission comprises of representatives from the BMNT, the BKA (Federal Chancellery), the BMF (Federal Ministry of Finance), the BMDW (Federal Ministry of Digital and Economic Affairs), the BMVIT (Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology), the Chamber of Labour, the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, Austrian Chamber of Agriculture, the Austrian Trade Union Federation and from the parliamentary parties.

The Kommunalkredit Public Consulting GmbH (KPC) is the central administration unit for the UFI. Itreceives the applications for subsidies, appraises them and submits them to the commission, which expresses its recommendation. After the ministerial decision, the KPC issues a contract with the applicant by order and for account of the Minister. The KPC is also responsible for handling the contract and payment.

Success stories of the UFI

Best practice examples of projects can be found here:

https://www.bmnt.gv.at/umwelt/klimaschutz/ufi.html (in German language)

published at 18.09.2019, Kommunikation und Service (Abteilung Präs. 5)