EU Level Position Paper on EPC
The project “European Energy Service Initiative towards the EU 2020 energy saving targets” (EESI 2020), which was implemented between 2013 and 2016 by a consortium of European energy agencies or experts with support of the European Commission’s Intelligent Energy Europe Programme, has been addressing ways to improve the impact of Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) in 9 European regions. Based on the experiences within EESI 2020, a concise position paper has been elaborated and published, which is addressed at EU level stakeholders and multipliers in the context of energy services.
Energy performance contracts aim to increase confidence among building owners and investors that the energy-saving measures in which they invest will, in practice and with guarantee, deliver the expected energy and cost savings over the lifetime of the contract.
Drawing on the experience of practitioners across 9 European regions the EESI 2020 project produced identified main barriers to the Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) market in Europe.
There are still inhibiting factors for EPC on the regulatory level, the most urgent one being the Eurostat guidance note on EPC, which mostly rules out off-balance financing options in EPC.
A central message is that a large part of the non-technical barriers to EPC can successfully be overcome through professional guidance from qualified Project Facilitators who understand the complexity of the EPC model and who can develop good communications and build trust among the parties to the contract.
From the experiences of the partners in the EESI 2020 project the following main recommendations are now presented:
- Create new ways to work within and around the recent Eurostat ruling which determines that the capital expenditure undertaken by an energy services company “shall be recorded on the government balance sheet”
- Put more attention on expanding the private sector EPC market, which is not affected by the Eurostat ruling. There is still a large market outside of the public sector building stock
- Recognise the role of Project Facilitators in the realisation of specific EPC projects, and train more Project Facilitators at regional level
- Encourage programmes aimed at improving national frameworks for EPC and financially supporting the EPC clients, as for example the National Energy Services Framework in Ireland and the BAFA programme in Germany