UFI A 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 Federal Ministry 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 (also 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 etcetera.
The positive effects of the UFI
In 2020 UFI funding of about 176 million Euro was granted for nearly 19.000 projects, which accounted for an overall investment of more than a billion Euro in Austria. These projects will lead to annual energy savings of approx. 490.000 MWh and to annual CO2 reductions of approximately 340.600 tons.
In addition budget is also allocated to the energy-efficient renovation of buildings and the replacement of fossil-based heating boilers:
Funding of more than 47 million Euro was granted for 10.800 projects in 2020, leading to an investment volume of 388 million Euro. These projects will generate annual energy savings of approximately 142.000 MWh and annual CO2 reductions of approximately 55.000 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 Federal Minister for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology. 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 Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology regarding the policies and the decisions for grants for each project. The Commission comprises of representatives from the BMLRT (Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Regions, and Tourism), the BKA (Federal Chancellery), the BMF (Federal Ministry of Finance), the BMDW (Federal Ministry of Digital and Economic Affairs), the former 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. It receives 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 (→ BMK Infothek) (in German language only)