The main goal of CEESEN-BENDER, launched on September 1 2023, is to empower and support vulnerable homeowners and renters living in Soviet-era multiapartment buildings in 5 CEE countries: Croatia, Slovenia, Estonia, Poland, and Romania. The project 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.

Main activities:

  • The project will analyze the ownership structure and physical characteristics of buildings in the 5 pilot sites in targeted regions (Estonia, Slovenia, Poland, Romania, and Croatia) to comprehensively understand the underlying obstacles that impede or halt homeowner associations, landlords, and property managers from pursuing energy renovations.
  • Partners of the project will identify both legislation and financial, and technical administrative obstacles for the renovation in pilot countries. The identification of obstacles from the homeowners’ perspective will help the creation of tailor-made solutions not only for homeowners but also for building managers, landlords, municipalities, and other relevant stakeholders involved in the renovation process. 
  • Through the project methods and tools, that can be used to address different aspects of energy poverty, will be developed. This includes: 
    • Data gathering on energy poverty in the pilot sites. 
    • A digital tool identifying buildings with high levels of energy-poor households in greatest need of renovation.
    • A model of potential savings in buildings undergoing renovation, and a tool for calculating the return on investment for energy renovation

  • 5 Pilot area roadmaps will be developed, that prioritize building renovation based on their potential for maximizing emissions reduction via energy savings as well as an increase of quality of life and wellbeing for vulnerable homeowners.
  • Within the 5 pilot areas, at least 30 building-level roadmaps will be created that specify the technical details for renovations. We will help these pilot buildings in the entire pre-construction phase from drawing of plans, to applying for permits, audits, or other requirements for financing. Plans will call for the decarbonization of the heating and cooling supply and integration of renewable energy sources (RES), to produce energy to cover its own consumption. 
  • Also, a support system will be created for homeowners, municipalities, and other large owners of multiapartment buildings in the targeted regions to speed up the renovation process, by: 
  • Training at least 3500 homeowners, landlords and building managers on legal, financial, technical and other aspects of energy renovations. 
    • Advocating for changes of regulatory requirements and policies to lower the costs and time needed for the preparatory phase of projects. 
    • Train at least 30 energy professionals on energy poverty and related topics. 

Project coordinator:
Society for Sustainable Development Design (DOOR) 

Partner organizations:
University of Tartu (UTARTU)
Local Energy Agency Spodnje Podravje (LEASP)
Alba Local Energy Agency (ALEA)
Climate Alliance
Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd. (MENEA)
Mazovian Energy Agency (MAE)
Tartu Regional Energy Agency (TREA)
Municipality of Alba Iulia (ALBA IULIA)
Central Eastern European Sustainable Energy Network (CEESEN) 

Associated partners:
Housing Cooperative “Marysin Wawerski” (SM Marysin Waw)
EUROLAND Ltd. (Euroland)
The Estonian Union of Co-operative Housing Associations (EKYL) 

Regions involved:
CEE countries: Croatia, Slovenia, Estonia, Poland, and Romania.

1 September 2023 – 31 August 2026 (36 months) 

EUR 1.85 million, of which the amount of EU support is EUR 1.75 million (95% support intensity) 

Project acronym:

Outcomes and deliverables of the project

Guidelines for facilitation of communication between building managers and homeowners on building renovation process (D2.1) – The document is developed for building managers to use when proposing energy renovation of buildings to the homeowners. It will be available in PDF format in 6 partner languages and English (Croatian, Polish, Romanian, Estonian and Slovenian).

Report on building energy performance in pilot sites (D2.2) – Report will be developed on the 6 selected buildings in pilot sites with data from all 5 pilot sites as a PDF file in 6 partner national languages and English (Croatian, Polish, Romanian, Estonian and Slovenian).

Workshops report on advocacy for energy renovation of buildings (D2.3) – Report on 40 awareness raising workshops in building energy refurbishment advocacy for landlords, homeowners and building managers in PDF format in English.

Synthesis report on demonstration buildings (D2.4) – The report on the identified renovated ‘model’ buildings in each partner country with similar technical characteristics in PDF format in English.

Report on building renovation barriers in regulatory framework in 5 pilot countries and in CEE (D3.1) – 6 reports analysing regulatory framework barriers regarding the building renovations and specific related topic (energy poverty, energy communities…). 6 PDF Files: 5 national (HR, EE, SI, PL, RO) and 1 CEE, each in native language and English.

Report on building renovation technical and economic barriers in 5 pilot countries and in CEE (D3.2) – 6 reports analysing market, technical, and other barriers regarding building renovations of energy poor households. 6 PDF Files: 5 national (HR, EE, SI, PL, RO) and 1 CEE, each in native language and English.

Article on the results of survey on energy consumption, energy needs, and behaviours of energy poor homeowners (D3.3) – Based upon developed questionnaire and implemented survey, analysis of the results will be published as an expert article in a form of PDF File, in English and all partner languages.

Digital tool to prioritise buildings for renovations (D4.1) – PDF file describing the tool that generates rankings of buildings that are the least energy efficient using available digital socioeconomic data (the tool uploaded to website).

Digital tool for the calculation of the return of the investment (D4.2) – PDF file describing the tool that calculates the return on the investment in user friendly and transparent way (the tool uploaded to website).

Training materials on providing consultations to vulnerable groups (D4.3) – PDF file with training materials for increasing the capacity of energy experts and other actors in providing consultancy to vulnerable groups. Developed in 6 national partner languages (Croatian, Polish, Romanian, Estonian and Slovenian) and English.

Building renovation roadmaps in 5 pilot areas (D5.1) – 5 Pilot Area Roadmaps which will estimate and rank the number of buildings in need as well as the financial investment needed to renovate them in PDF format and in national partner languages (Croatian, Polish, Romanian, Estonian and Slovenian) and English.

Synthesis report on energy consulting for building managers, homeowner associations, landlords and vulnerable households in 5 pilot regions (D5.2) – Synthesis report on energy consultation process with experts and partners in 5 target regions in PDF format and in national partner languages (Croatian, Polish, Romanian, Estonian and Slovenian) and English.

Report on building-level renovation roadmaps in 5 pilot regions (D5.3) – 30 in-depth, tailored building-level roadmaps for renovations with included technical considerations, scope of work to be performed, cost, residence inconvenience and maximum efficiency in PDF format in national partner languages (Croatian, Polish, Romanian, Estonian and Slovenian) and English summary (description of the roadmaps).

Promotional materials to improve the residents’ energy behaviour (D6.1) – A set of promotional materials intended for vulnerable households will be published (online and paper format). The materials will be attractive and easy to understand. The materials will be available in national partner languages (Croatian, Polish, Romanian, Estonian and Slovenian) and English.

Lessons learnt and policy recommendations to national and EU level policy makers (D6.2) – The lessons learnt will be published as a report that will include the results from project key outputs, market and other analyses and stakeholder feedback. Based on this policy recommendations will be compiled for national and international decisionmakers.

Final publishable report (D6.4) – Final publishable report in English presenting the key results, main lessons learnt, and recommendations for the future.


Find wide range of useful resources in our document database

All resources

The CEESEN-Bender project has received funding from the European Union’s Programme for the Environment and Climate Action (LIFE 2021-2027) under grant agreement n° LIFE 101120994.  

The information and views set out in this homepage are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union or CINEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.