Limited places are available for an exciting Open Days workshop on Financing Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Heating and Cooling on 14 October 2015 in Brussels.
Enter code: 14A10
This year’s policy push on heating and cooling along with the impetus for moving beyond grants and into more sustainable financial instruments set the context for this important workshop. The substantial allocation of EUR 38 billion via the European Structural and Investment Funds to the low carbon economy between 2014 and 2020 is an unprecedented opportunity for public authorities to develop a project pipeline and create the business case for attracting private investment into buildings refurbishments.
At the workshop new funding sources – such as the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) – will be presented by Paul Hodson, Head of Unit Energy Efficiency, DG ENER / European Commission. DG Regio’s Colin Wolfe will give the keynote speech on supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy use with EU funds and financial whizz-kid Robert Pernetta (DG Regio) will explain all about the use of structural funds-based financial instruments for sustainable energy.
There will also be updates on the innovative financing facilities available from Horizon 2020 (and formerly Intelligent Energy Europe). Since 2009, 56 local and regional authorities have received project development assistance funding to develop up to EUR 4 billion investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy investments which include both interventions at the building level as well as the district heating and cooling infrastructure.
Discussions of practical experiences from the regions include Elena Szolgayová from the Ministry of Transport, Construction and Regional Development, Slovakia on the renovation loan, an ‘off-the-shelf’ financial instrument. Available to any type of building owner, the loans of up to EUR 75 000 will run for a period of up to 20 years. Renovations that the loan will cover include the replacement and refitting of heating systems, upgrades of insulation and the replacements of windows, entrance doors and roofs. Directed at market failures, the renovation loan aims at combining 85% of public and 15% of private resources to finance energy efficiency or renewable measures at preferential conditions. It should also make procedures more easy and accessible. The renovation loan will be managed by a financial intermediary, which can be either a public or private financial institution.
Also speaking will be Bartosz Dubinkski, CEO of Mazovia Energy Agency in Poland. In recent years, Mazovia Energy Agency has gained significant experience in using financial instruments for sustainable energy projects at local and regional level. Through the JESSICA initiative, an urban development fund was created for the Mazovia Region in September 2012. The urban development fund (managed by BGK) is investing EUR 39 million into projects in the region.
Mazovia Energy Agency is responsible for the evaluation of energy projects, providing expert assistance to the JESSICA beneficiaries and ongoing monitoring of activities. At time of writing, eleven projects of a total investment value of EUR 66.44 million had been signed (including PV, gas co-generation and energy infrastructure in the form of district heating). Investors include district heating companies, municipal and other utilities.
Speaking about the JESSICA experience, Bartosz Dubinkski, CEO of Mazovia Energy Agency said:
‘When we started, people wanted subsidies, not loans. Then project developers realised that it was cheaper to have a loan in the project than a grant, and the attitude changed. It was hard work to ignite the process, but we now have completed projects with good results and you can see the positive impact, people are catching on. Already there are ten projects in the pipeline and strong investor appetite – we’re experiencing a snowball effect.’