The European Local ENergy Assistance (ELENA) programme will benefit from 97 million euro ($109.7 million) of fresh funding from the European Commission for its envelope dedicated to residential buildings in EU member states, the European Investment Bank (EIB) said on Wednesday. “ELENA is a great example of the effective use of public money… I want to encourage potential beneficiaries especially from central, eastern and south-eastern Europe to apply for the funds,” the European commissioner for climate action and energy, Miguel Arias Canete, said, according to a press release issued by EIB. EIB, which implements ELENA, will provide assistance and expertise for project development available under ELENA and act as the point of contact. The EU member states agreed in December 2018 to reduce energy consumption by 32.5% by 2030 as compared to 1990, EIB noted. “This target, a central provision of the clean energy package, implies huge investments, especially in residential buildings, which account for around 40% of the EU’s total final energy demand,” the bank said, adding that accelerating energy-efficiency refurbishment of housing is therefore a key European priority and the main focus of the ELENA facility.