Results of EU survey on Eurostat guidance note "The impact of Energy Performance Contracts on government accounts" show that Eurostat rules on public debt and deficit have a negative impact on investments in energy efficiency in public sector in several EU Member States.
The European Association of Energy Service Companies (eu.esco) and the European Federation of Intelligent Energy Efficiency Services (EFIEES), in their role as voluntary European co-administrators of the European Code of Conduct for Energy Performance Contracting (EPC), decided together with the National Code Administrators to carry out an EU survey on Eurostat guidance note "The impact of Energy Performance Contracting on government accounts" between 2nd November 2015 and 15th January 2016. The aim of the EU survey was to measure the impact of Eurostat rules on public debt and deficit on EPC offered by private EPC providers to public sector in Europe in the context of the guidance note by Eurostat mentioned above.
EU survey respondents from ten Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Ireland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden strongly agreed that the Eurostat guidance note from 7th August 2015 had a negative impact on public EPC markets in their respective countries.
"The results of the EU survey on Eurostat guidance note "The impact of Energy Performance Contracting on government accounts" are a strong evidence confirming that Eurostat rules on public debt and deficit described in the guidance note are a serious obstacle to the development of public EPC markets in several Member States.", said Volker Dragon, Chairman of the European Association of Energy Service Companies (eu.esco).
"Eurostat rules on public debt and deficit represent a regulatory obstacle to contracting and investing in energy efficiency in the public sector. An EU-level action is therefore needed to address this issue, in line with Article 19, Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU)", said Valérie Plainemaison, Secretary General of the European Federation of Intelligent Energy Efficiency Services (EFIEES).
In total, 33 respondents representing 29 organisations from 15 EU Member States i.e. Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and one non-EU country i.e. Norway answered the questionnaire. For 10 out of 16 countries covered by the survey, the National Administrators of the European Code of Conduct for EPC have responded to the survey i.e. Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Norway.
 The European Code of Conduct for EPC is available on Transparense project's website: www.transparense.eu
Fill in European survey on Eurostat guidance note "The impact of EPC´s on government accounts" here.
On 7 August 2015, Eurostat published a guidance note titled "The impact of EPC´s on government accounts". If until now the European System of National and Regional Accounts (ESA 2010 - in force since September 2014) was subject to interpretation, now with the Eurostat guidance note it is clear and not at all positive for EPCs.
Eurostat Guidance Note confirmed the interpretation of public accounting rules as regards EPC and public debt stating that in order for a project to be considered a public-private partnership (PPP), capital expenditure for improving energy efficiency by private entities in the contract should reach at least 50% of the total value of the building after the energy efficiency renovation. This is considered a major burden to EPC, as national administrations will hesitate to engage in EPC as they might fear of increasing public debt.
This interpretation should be changed, as it does not take into account that the full investment or at least a part of the investment into the energy efficiency projects is offset by monetary savings and that EPCs can provide an energy savings guarantee.
More information is to be found under the following links:
- Guidance note
- Eurostat presentation (Denis Besnard, Eurostat Unit D1) during "Energy Services Market in the EU" Workshop organised by Joint Research Centre on 22 October 2015.
- All presentations of "Energy Services Market in the EU" Workshop.
- Presentation of the results of the Transparense project.
Transparense project was presented at the European Utility Week in Vienna on 4 November 2015. The presentation "European EPC Markets and the Code of Conduct as a first step towards harmonisation and standardisation" was held by the Transparense co-ordinator Jana Szomolanyiova and can be downloaded here. She also contributed with the project experiences to the panel discussion: Contract complexity, how to reach standardisation?
Download the new Transparense Final Brochure: Towards Transparent Energy Performance Contracting Markets with a summary of the project results. Lern about the uptake of the European Code of Conduct for EPC and the latest market developments.
Watch the video and get a quick summary of what the European Code of Conduct can do for you, how it works and how to get involved.
The European Federation of Intelligent Energy Efficiency Services (EFIEES) and the European Association of Energy Service Companies (eu.esco) become official European co-administrators of the European Code of Conduct for Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) as of 1st September 2015.
The European Code of Conduct for EPC (EPC Code of Conduct) has been developed within the project Transparense1 co-funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme of the European Union. The EPC Code of Conduct is a voluntary commitment which defines the basic values and principles that are considered fundamental for the successful preparation and implementation of EPC projects within European countries.
The EPC Code of Conduct already has a significant number of signatories across Europe2 and is being put into practice. It has been successfully used to introduce clients to the EPC concept and has been seen as a unique selling proposition.
"The main role of the European Code of Conduct for EPC is to bring confidence to the EPC market in the EU, taking into account its variety across Member States," says Valérie Plainemaison, Secretary General of the European Federation of Intelligent Energy Efficiency Services (EFIEES).
"It is a positive sign towards the market and a resilient foundation for long-term business development," says Volker Dragon, Chairman of the European Association of Energy Service Companies (eu.esco).
As a proven energy service model, EPC offers the opportunity to make a significant contribution in meeting the EU's carbon and energy targets.
Notes for editors:
The European Federation of Intelligent Energy Efficiency Services (EFIEES) represents private companies (Energy Efficiency Services Companies, EESCs) providing an overall energy management service to end users. Website: www.efiees.eu
The European Association of Energy Service Companies (eu.esco) was founded in 2009 by the European Building Automation and Controls Association (eu.bac). Website: www.euesco.org
For more information, please contact:
EFIEES: Katarzyna Wardal | +32 2 230 65 50 | email@example.com
eu.esco: Andrei Litiu | +32 2 706 82 02 | firstname.lastname@example.org
1 The EPC Code of Conduct is available on Transparense project's website: www.transparense.eu
2 For the time being, there are 161 signatories in Europe: 118 EPC providers, 12 associations of EPC providers and 31 other entities operating on the EPC market.
Brand new data have been added into the existing EPC Market Databases which can be found in the website´s menu:
The data draws from a new 2015 Transparense survey distributed to European countries' most relevant energy services companies and EPC market facilitators. Altogether, 112 EPC providers and facilitators from 20 countries across Europe filled in the survey including the largest EPC providers. The survey had been made available online in order to make the distribution process as easy as possible.
The new survey represents a follow-up to the survey carried out in 2013 aimed at obtaining information on the EPC market in the EU. The survey again covers four key areas: existing ESCOs and national EPC market, EPC models, financing models and policy initiatives.
Thanks to the same survey design, comparisons between the years 2013 and 2015 can be made easily. A summary on the new data and the development since the last survey is being prepared and will be published soon.
The European Code of Conduct for Energy Performance Contracting (hereafter "the Code") is a set of values and principles that are considered fundamental for the successful, professional and transparent implementation of Energy Performance Contracting ("EPC") projects in European countries. The Code, which was launched during the autumn 2014, is a voluntary commitment and is not legally binding. T
The EPC Code of Conduct consists of a set of nine guiding principles on EPC project implementation to support the high quality and transparency of European EPC markets.
The European Code of Conduct for EPC has been developed within the Intelligent Energy Europe project Transparense in co-operation with inter alia EPC providers, clients, facilitators and ESCO (Energy Service Companies) associations. It is endorsed by the two organisations representing ESCOs at the European level - eu.ESCO and EFIEES who significantly contributed by their comments to the quality of the final wording of the Code of Conduct.
Code has been generally welcomed by market players in all 20 European participating countries. Currently, there are 123 signatories, out of which 79 are EPC providers and 10 national associations of ESCOs. Until now, the greatest success of the Code has been reported from National ESCO conference in Amsterdam during which 21 ESCOs and 12 other market players signed the Code.
The Code of Conduct serves as a harmonized European quality standard of EPC projects. The key message of the Code of Conduct is that EPC represents a fair energy service business model. It has been already successfully used in introducing the clients into the EPC concept and has been seen as a unique selling proposition. However, the key to success is that EPC providers understand that they benefit from adhering to a set of rules for the EPC business due to an increase in trust on the client side and a resulting increase in demand for EPC projects.
For the clients, the Code functions as an EPC quality indicator on what they should expect and require from EPC providers and which principles they themselves should adhere to in order to achieve expected energy savings and related benefits. It can be used by governments, being major EPC clients, as minimum requirements for the EPC projects conducted on their property.
The EPC Code of Conduct is a voluntary commitment and is not legally binding. That is why it is important to implement the principles of the Code within the EPC contracts and tender dossiers. Thus the Code is especially useful in the EPC beginner markets, such as Bulgaria and Poland, where the Code will be implemented in the first EPC model contracts and tender dossiers by the governmental bodies.
Author: Jana Szomolányiová
This article was published in INSIGHT magazine (2/15) which can be downloaded at the publisher´s website www.eubac.org.
Transparense project organised a session "Increasing quality and trust to make Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) markets flourish across Europe" on 18 June 2015 in Brussels, as part of the 2015 EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) Policy Conference.The session was led by the project coordinator, SEVEn - The Energy Efficiency Centre.
The Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) model offers the opportunity to make a significant contribution in meeting the EU's ambitious 2020 carbon and energy targets, yet very little of its potential has been harnessed when compared to advanced markets in the USA and Canada. This session will explore the barriers that have been holding back EPC business in Europe and will set out key strategies to accelerate its uptake.
The Transparense project, funded by the European Union's Intelligent Energy Europe programme, has been supporting the development of transparent EPC markets by establishing the European Code of Conduct for EPC and promoting its application to increase the quality of EPC.
We were delighted to have speakers from the two European associations of energy service providers, EFIEES and eu.ESCO, as well as the EESI2020 and ICP Europe projects. The session was moderated by Jaroslav Marousek, Chairman of the Board of SEVEn o.p.s., The Energy Efficiency Center.
European Code of Conduct for EPC and other Transparense project main outcomes have been presented on Public workshop on innovative financing for energy efficiency and renewables on 28 April 2015 in Brussels organised by the EASME - Executive Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises of the European Commission. See the presentation here.
Up-scaling investments in energy efficiency and renewables is a major challenge to meet the European Union's energy and climate targets for 2030. Lack of public resources requires new approaches to investment. Local and regional authorities have a key role to play in mobilising stakeholders, developing projects pipelines and creating the business case for attracting private investment.
This shift to innovative financing approaches is supported by the European Union's Project Development Assistance (PDA) facilities such as ELENA Intelligent Energy Europe PDA funding to launch up to EUR 4 billion of investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy, focused on existing public and private buildings, street lighting, district heating and clean urban transport. Most PDA projects are developing innovative solutions to finance investments through private capital in a sustainable manner.
The workshop focused on operational solutions implemented by local and regional authorities when developing a pipeline of investments, as well as the achievements of on-going projects focused on innovative financing approaches.
On 31 March 33 parties have signed the European Code of Conduct for Energy Performance Contracting, a set of guidelines, values and principles that are fundamental for a successful implementation of EPC projects (EPCs) in Europe. The Code of Conduct was developed within the IEE project ‘Transparense’ with partners from 20 different EU countries. ECN represents the Netherlands in this project.
“ECN has introduced the code in the Netherlands and cooperates with ESCoNetwerk.nl to ensure that as many companies as possible adopt the code. The fact that so many new companies have endorsed the code is good news for clients of EPC providers. They have gained a better understanding of what to expect and demand from EPC-providers”, says Marijke Menkveld, senior consultant at ECN.
The companies that have endorsed the Code of Conduct are recognized parties in de ESCo industry, a.o.: Cofely, BAM, Strukton, Eneco, Siemens, Honeywell, Ovvia, Veolia, GETEC, Greenfox and in the real estate and financial sector such as CBRE Global Investors, Schiphol Real Estate, Energiefonds Overijssel and the ASN Bank.
EPCs are a relatively new and smart way to achieve energy savings in real estate. The contracts include a commitment to guaranteed energy savings for several years. The client and supplier (the Energy Service Company) come to an agreement on the sustainability (measures, guarantees, refunds, etc.). ESCo’s remain involved in the project for a longer period of time and retrieve their investments from the realised energy savings. This way ESCo’s can enable the client to focus on their core business.
Energy Performance Contracts require a non-traditional relationship between contractor and client, for long-term partnerships require different behaviour and a new mindset. Therefore the European Code of Conduct for Energy Performance Contracts was developed; EPC providers who are signatories of the EPC Code are committed to carry out EPC projects in accordance with the principles of the Code of Conduct.
Download the press release by clicking here.
Download fresh Transparense Newsletter no. 3 focused on the European Code of Conduct for EPC and its application.
Are you an innovative and highly qualified energy service provider or promoter?
Have you implemented a successful and pioneering sustainable energy project?
The European Energy Service Award is now open for applications in the categories:
- Best European Energy Service Promoter
- Best European Energy Service Provider
- Best European Energy Service Project
Find application documents and further information at:
Closing date for applications is June 29, 2015.
The award winners will be selected by an international jury of experts and awarded at a high level event in Brussels in October 2015.The European Energy Service Award is organised by the Berliner Energy Agency in the context of the project EESI 2020, funded by the European Commission's IEE programme.
Although the ESCO business in Portugal is still in the process of development and establishment, this country is already a success story in the dissemination of the European Code of Conduct for EPC developed within Transparense project.
Conferences, workshops, scientific articles or even press releases, surveys and the strong marketing tool "word of mouth" are the means of dissemination of excellence! The common goal is to promote this area of business and its benefits among the stakeholders (industry, large companies, banks, local authorities and managers/responsible for buildings).
These outreach initiatives have been effective in such a way that, on September, a national magazine dedicated to Energy Efficiency announced in its notice "Code of Conduct reinforces transparency in energy performance contracts", online, the final version of the European Code of Conduct for EPC as a good mechanism to increase transparency in this market.
Beyond these initiatives, Portugal is also making a strong bet on the establishment of partnerships with the major national organisations in the area of energy, as for example the Directorate General of Energy (DGEG) and ADENE (National Energy Agency), who also promised to disseminate the Code among the ESCOs registered in the National Registry Database for ESCOs qualification, in order to inform them about this voluntary Code of Conduct and the procedure to sign it. This is an important measure as some big ESCOs are reluctant to sign it because they fear it would be an additional administrative burden.
In this context, those responsible for the Transparense project in Portugal assume that the dissemination of European Code of Conduct for EPC of utmost importance as "the exchange of information, consultancy and training based on good practices can serve as balm to these (and other) obstacles".
Galati became the first Romanian local authority to launch a public procurement procedure to contract energy efficiency services for public buildings.
European CombinES project focused on combining EPC with subsidised building envelope renovation published its final results. Now you can download the brochure presenting so called "CombinES Comprehensive Renovation", where the building envelope part of the renovation is subsidised and the technology part of the renovation is implemented with the intervention of an energy service company (ESCO) by applying the Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) model. It also includes a number of best practice examples.
The final CombinES Master Report presents more details of the CombinES Comprehensive Renovation model with specified characteristics in the area of procedures, procurement, support programme conditions, the EPC business model and legislation changes.
More information can be found on the CombinES prjoect website: www.combines-ce.eu.
First results of European Code of Conduct for EPC implementation has been presented at ESCO Europe 2015 Conference on 20th of January in Milano by the project co-ordinator Jana Szomolanyiova and Vladimir Sochor (SEVEn). Download presentation here.
"The Code of Conduct reflects the values and principles which our members consider essential to the development of high-quality energy efficiency services markets in Europe" says Valérie Plainemaison, EFIEES (European Federation of Intelligent Energy Efficiency Services) Secretary General. To read the whole press release click here.
Improving Ireland's energy efficiency is an essential part of Ireland's sustainable energy policy, and will play a vital role in reducing Ireland's dependence of fossil fuels. The Irish government published Energy Policy Green Paper on May 12th 2014 and is currently engaged in a public consultation process in order to engage members of the public in the country's future energy policy. This builds on the Governments existing energy policy framework set out in the White Paper: Delivering a Sustainable Energy Future for Ireland - the Energy Policy Framework for 2007-2020. Recognising the need for government to lead by example, a commitment was made to achieve a 33 percent reduction in public sector energy use by 2020.
Given such an ambitious target and the associated capital investment required, Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) was seen as a good vehicle to support the public sector deliver in this task while also addressing some obligations under the Energy Efficiency Directive. In order to support the development of the energy efficiency market in the non-domestic sector throughout Ireland, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) developed a National Energy Services Framework. This Framework sets out the current roadmap through which energy efficiency projects and an EPC process are being developed - in essence it is the 'How To' manual. The Framework also provides best-practice guidance to public and private sector client organisations when procuring energy services and engaging ESCOs. The Framework has focused thus far on providing guidance and tools to support developing projects suitable for EPC and Energy Performance-Related Payments (EPRP). Model contracts are being developed for Local Energy Supply Contracts (LESCs). Handbooks on EPC for Public Lighting and for Water Services will follow. This work is on-going and all materials are available on SEAI's website: www.seai.ie/Your_Business/National_Energy_Services_Framework/.
In order to both test and demonstrate that the Framework is robust and has the capacity to deliver at scale, a suite of exemplar projects (a mixture of public and private organisations) are working through and testing the Framework with SEAI. These projects are provided with assistance in the form of training, networking and access to a panel of EPC legal and technical experts to review and comment at key stages of the project. In return participating organisations commit to actively engage in the provision of feedback on utilisation of the Framework. There are currently 20 organisations progressing energy projects while testing the Framework process. Lessons from the experience will feed back into the next iteration of the manuals and workbooks on a continuous basis.
The final 'leg of the stool' is finance. One of the early key barriers identified in seeking to maximise the rollout of energy efficiency projects in Ireland, including EPC's, was the quantum and structure of funding and finance available in the market. The Irish government committed seed funding to establish an energy efficiency fund and in March 2014, the Minister for communications, energy and natural resources, alongside Glen Dimplex and London and Regional Properties, invested in a €70 million National Energy Efficiency Fund with Sustainable Development Capital LLP (SDCL) acting as investment advisor. This fund will act as a catalyst to develop energy efficiency projects in the Irish market and enhance the level of finance available to support the clear cost saving opportunity that exists for public and commercial sector organisations. It is anticipated that as much as €300 million leveraged funding will be delivered over the next three years based on a fund size of €70 million.
Ray Ring, Business Development Manager for Aramark and a member of the European Energy Services Companies
The European Energy Service Award has awarded its winners in Brussels on Octobre 8th. The awards were given in 3 categories: Best Energy Service Project, Best Energy Service Provider and Best Energy Service Promoter. Read all about the awards and winners here!
European Code of Conduct for Energy Performance Contracting has been finalised and is available for download on the Transparense project website! EPC providers and their associations can apply for signatory status under the EPC Code of Conduct by signing the form to be downloaded here.
The European Code of Conduct for Energy Performance Contracting defines the basic values and principles that are considered fundamental for the successful preparation and implementation of EPC projects within European countries.
The EPC Code of Conduct has been developed within the Intelligent Energy Europe project Transparense in cooperation with inter alia EPC providers, clients and European ESCO associations. The two organisations representing ESCOs at the European level - European Association of Energy Service Companies (eu.ESCO) and EuropeanFederation of Intelligent Energy Efficiency Services (EFIEES) endorse the European Codeof Conduct for EPC and support its use when implementing EPC projects.
The European Energy Service Award honors outstanding efforts and achievements in the field of energy services in Europe. The prestigious award has been awarded regularly since 2006. The prize is given to projects, businesses and multipliers who have made an outstanding contribution to the European energy service market.
Awarding Ceremony on October 8th, 2014 in Brussels
The winners 2014 will receive their prizes at a high-level event in Brussels. The ceremony will be organized as a side-event to the Open Days 2014 on October 8th, 2014 at the
Representation of the State of Hesse to the European Union.
The EESA is awarded in three categories
- Best Energy Service Promoter
- Best Energy Service Providers
- Best Energy Service Project (up to 3 winners)
The award winners are selected by a jury of international experts:
- Marie C. Donnelly, European Commission, DG Energy
- Paolo Bertoldi, European Commission, DG JRC
- Juan Alario, European Investment Bank
- Peter Hobson, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
- Julije Domac, Fedarene
The EESA is awarded in the context of the IEE project "European Energy Service Initiative 2020" (EESI2020), which is co-ordinated by the Berlin Energy Agency. It has its origins in the "European Energy Service Initiative" (EESI).
The EPC Code of Conduct defines a set of fundamental values expected from ESCO's in the preparation and implementation of EPC projects. The Code is a strong statement and quality label for ESCO's signing to respect it.
On August 28th the Agoria Green Building Platform organizes the official launching seminar in Brussels, where the Code of Conduct will be presented. Check the program here (French) or here (Dutch), where you can also find the link to register.
The European Commission DG JRC analyses and researches the activities and development of ESCO as part of Scientific & Technical Reference System on Renewable Energy and Energy End-use Efficiency in order to provide accurate information to policy makers, experts and other interested parties. The latest ESCO Market Report for the EU Member States and neighbouring countries, relative to the market situation in year 2013, is now available.
The report concludes that the current forecasts regarding the 2020 target for energy efficiency is on the way to being achieved. The Commission does not intend to propose new measures but calls on the Member States to step up their current efforts to ensure collective delivery of the 2020 target. The Commission will complement these efforts with appropriate guidance and dissemination of best practice to ensure full exploitation of the available Union funds.
The Commission's Communication on a 2030 policy framework for climate and energy identified a level of energy savings of 25% as part of a strategy to deliver the 40% greenhouse gas emission reduction target in the most cost-effective manner. However, given the increased relevance of bolstering EU energy security and reducing the Union's import dependency, the Commission considers it appropriate to propose a higher target of 30%. This would increase the costs of the 2030 Framework by €20 billion per annum but would still deliver tangible economic and energy security benefits.
You can download the full report here.
Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger held a press conference on July 23rd to present the European Commission Communication on Energy Efficiency, which sets a non-binding 2030 energy savings target of 30 %.
The Communication on Energy Efficiency is the last building block in the 2030 climate package. The Commission released jointly with the Communication also the assessment on the EU’s 2020 targets showing that the EU will fail to reach its goals on saving energy and improving energy efficiency, because of inefficient level of implementation in the member states. The EU currently forecast to achieve energy savings of 18-19%.
Energy Efficiency in buildings will hopefully feature high on the political agenda for the next Commission. President-elect Juncker has at least expressed strong support in his Political Guidelines for the next European Commission stating that “I would like to significantly enhance energy efficiency beyond the 2020 objective, notably when it comes to buildings”.
BELESCO, the Belgian ESCO Association in collaboration with the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the projects EESI 2020 and Transparense, organised two workshops in Diamant Conference & Business Center in Brussels. These workshops brought together Belgian, European and international experts in the field of energy services and ESCO models, with national and regional stakeholders and market actors involved in the development of programs for energy efficiency in public and private buildings.
The program was divided into two main parts, each focussing on one question;
- Morning session (10:00 -13:00): 'How to overcome the barriers for retrofitting large private and public building stocks?'
- Afternoon session (14:00 - 18:00): 'How can facilitators boost the development of the EPC market?'
The presentations can be downloaded here.
Call for applications for the European Energy Service Award 2014 has been announced.
The EESA 2014 Award is organised by the Berliner Energy Agency in the context of the project EESI 2020 and the deadline for applications is May 31, 2014.
Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) has the potential to provide substantial energy savings by enabling public building owners to finance the upgrading of ageing and inefficient facilities. The basic principle is that energy efficiency improvement investments are financed directly from saved energy costs. But while the EPC business model makes these investments much more feasible, the number and size of projects is still limited.
The EU project Transparense, aiming at supporting the development of the EPC market, has found that lack of trust in the industry, the complexity of the EPC concept, regulatory barriers and lack of governmental support are key reasons.
Read more here.
Transparense project was presented at the European conference ESCO Europe 2014 that took place in January 22-23 in Barcelona.
ESCO Europe 2014 brought together Europe's ESCOs to discuss EPC business models presenting the Europe's largest conference dedicated to energy performance contracting.
Initial results from the Transparense project were presented by Jana Szomolányiová and Vladimír Sochor from SEVEn, The Energy Efficiency Center.
For more information about the conference, please visit www.esco-europe.com/programme.
Presentation by SEVEn can be downloaded here.
The European Commission has launched its new funding scheme in the area of research and innovation. In an Information Day for Energy in Horizon 2020, the energy related parts of the program have been introduced to the public in Brussels.
Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness. Running from 2014 to 2020 with a budget of just over EUR 70 billion, the EU's new programme for research and innovation is part of the drive to create new growth and jobs in Europe.
In the Information Day for Energy on Dec 5th, 2013, the participants received essential information on the calls for proposals which will be open in 2014 and 2015. These calls are expected to cover Energy Efficiency, Competitive Low Carbon Energy and Smart Cities and Communities.
All presentations held as well as the web streaming of the event can be accessed on the following website of the European Commission:
In order to gain an understanding of the aim and purpose of Transparense, we have asked Jana Szomolányiová of SEVEn, the Czech co-ordinator of the project, to answer some questions about the project.
Why is the Transparense project important?
Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) is an energy service allowing the client to save energy without capital costs as the investments are being repaid directly from the saved energy costs. There is a great potential for such projects within the EU, but most of it is not utilised. This is a paradox in the time of financial crisis when organisations - especially in the public sector - lack the necessary capital to renovate their buildings. An initial Transparense survey showed that major EPC barriers include confidence in the EPC providers, complexity of the EPC method and low demand on the client side. Thus, Transparense aims to respond to these barriers and increase the transparency and trustworthiness of EPC markets as well as the quality of the services provided. We believe this will result in an evident increase in the number of implemented EPC projects.
How do you plan to achieve such aims?
In order to increase the quality and transparency of EPC services, we are preparing a European EPC Code of Conduct. If we succeed in getting the majority of the EPC providers to accept and adhere to the principles of fair and best practice in the business, we can expect the credibility of the market to build up over time as well as the demand for EPC projects.
Transparense focuses on providing the supply side with international know-how and feedback from a number of trainings and workshops. Furthermore, the project will provide substantial information online, including training materials and data on the European EPC markets. Some of the most experienced European EPC experts will help
What are the project’s key success factors?
The key success factor is to involve EPC market players in the development of the Code of Conduct. It is crucial that EPC providers recognize that they will benefit from adhering to a set of rules for the EPC business as this will result in increased trust from clients and, consequently, an increase in demand.
Furthermore it is important that governments, being major potential EPC clients, take the opportunity to use EPC Code of Conduct to implement high quality EPC projects aiming to reduce energy consumption on their property. This will also help them to fulfil the requirements of the Energy Efficiency Directive in the area of energy services.
For companies or potential EPC clients interested in the project: Take a look at our website (www.transparense.eu) and sign up for the newsletter, which will inform on planned Transparense activities. By the end of November the results of the ESCO survey within 20 EU countries will be presented as well as the proposed Code of Conduct.
Contact: Jana Szomolányiová co-ordinator of Transparense and senior consultant at Czech SEVEn.
One objective of the Transparense project, and probably the central one, is building trust in and elevating the quality of Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) by creating the European EPC Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct defines the basic values, principles, and guidelines in terms of ESCOs behaviour that are considered fundamental for safeguarding the quality of EPC service, maximizing energy efficiency improvement measures' energy and cost savings and their sustainability.
Developing a Code of Conduct is an essential part of building a professional EPC community with shared values and a common purpose. The Transparense project acts as a stakeholder forum which will agree on norms to guide professional behaviour of Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) and bring transparency into the EPC market. The Code of Conduct is also meant to influence other EPC actors beside ESCOs, such as clients and EPC project facilitators, providing information on EPC excellence standards to be met by ESCOs.
The Code of Conduct defines the basic values, principles, and guidelines in terms of ESCOs behaviour that are considered fundamental for safeguarding the quality of EPC service, maximizing energy efficiency improvement measures' energy and cost savings and their sustainability. The EPC quality within the Transparense project is a measure of how well the service level delivered by the ESCO matches clients expectations. The Code of Conduct is going to be based on the voluntary self-regulation of ESCOs, and will therefore not be legally binding.
The ESCOs and clients conduct their business within the framework of relevant laws, regulations and internal policies. However, these do not govern all behaviour inherent to the EPC. Therefore, the Code of Conduct will help ESCOs and clients to understand exactly what quality EPC stands for and how they can expect other actors to conduct themselves.
So far, the Transparense project partners have identified core EPC values (ethics) and principles of conduct (behaviour) deriving from values. In order to provide additional relevant information and to improve the quality of the starting set of benchmarks for expected minimal ethical conditions and affirmative behaviour, this initial set of values and principles is now being tested by project partners at national level.
This site has been launched.