Marie Donnelly, Director DG Energy announced a new campaign at the Renovate Europe Day 2012 on 11 October in Brussels.
The campaign is to promote and build capacity for energy performance contracting and ESCO throughout Europe as a tool to implement SEAPs and deliver on the 20-20-20 goals.
The three main pillars of the campaign are the European Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Expertise Centre targeting central governments, ManagEnergy targeting regional actors, and the Covenant of Mayors targeting local actors and CoM signatories.
Ms Donnelly said that the campaign was addressed to all levels of governance, acknowledging that all of these actors have a part to play in transitioning to a low carbon economy. In addition, a new set of people must be persuaded to play their parts—financial ministries and private business. Ms Donnelly noted the diversity of experience with ESCO across Europe—with the business model well established in some countries and sectors, while in others not at all.
ManagEnergy will be supporting the campaign editorially and with a series of capacity building workshops targeted at local and regional actors. A major objective of the workshops is to train participants in how ESCO services can best be used in SEAP implementation.
Other speakers endorsed the launch, with Renovate Europe Campaign Director Adrian Joyce noting the very high level political support (from Commissioner Hahn and Commissioner Oettinger) for mass scale energy efficient retrofit of Europe’s building stock. Stjohn O’Connor from the Irish Energy Ministry (DCENR) said that there were estimates of a potential EUR 10 billion ESCO market in non-domestic buildings in Ireland. Currently the ESCO market in Ireland is at an early stage of development. Mr O’Connor also said that a central challenge is the availability of aggregated energy consumption data for public authorities.
Tatiana Bosteels Hermes Real Estate explained that the market view from property investors is that sustainable buildings are necessary for long term protection of investments. Barriers to investment include the challenge of developing new investment products for energy efficiency, and the difficulty in quantifying the potential returns. The owner tenant split incentive was also identified as a barrier, and again, accurate energy consumption measurement is a key issue. Sean McLoughlin an equity research analyst from HSBC, represented the view from the public equity markets, saying the energy efficiency was seen as a resilient and stable investment market, and citing the scale of the renovation market in Germany as a model.
Early stage findings from KfW, ADEME, and others indicate that buildings with high grades of energy performance certification attract higher market values, and given the views expressed by the investor community this is welcome news for local authorities and others involved in long term energy efficiency financing schemes.
Intelligent Energy-Europe (IEE) has promoted a number of projects on Energy Performance Contracting targeted at the public sector. Projects such as Eurocontract, for instance, have contributed greatly to EPC market development through a series of documents and guides.
Other IEE projects have focused on developing energy services to foster specific energy efficient solutions. The projects Esoli, E-street, and Butk, have helped municipalities switch to energy efficient lighting technologies in the frame of innovative energy services contracting.
Among the resources available are a set of standard training modules that can be downloaded on the EESI project website. These modules contain information on available Energy Performance Contracting models, contract requirements, financing options and market situation, with a total of five different modules for beginners to advanced experts. Read the ManagEnergy interview with project coordinator Daniel Hesse here.