Most European regions have not yet seen a significant development of energy performance contracting (EPC). Energy performance contracting can be a very good solution to make street lighting refurbishment happen: guaranteed energy services in the form of EPC work best in cases of high energy and costs savings potentials. Apart from legal barriers, this can be attributed to the lack of understanding and trust in EPC and the absence of experienced ESCOs and organisations facilitating the EPC market development. Street lighting is a good "learning and testing ground" for EPC due to its lower technical and economic complexity (compared to building-related EPC).
In Europe, streetlighting consumes a significant amount of electricity: there are more than 56 million street lighting luminaires in operation, with an estimated electricity consumption of 35 TWh. For municipalities with older, inefficient systems, street lighting can account for 30-50% of their total electricity consumption. However, the saving potential is enormous: with current technologies 30-70% energy savings are generally possible. This savings potential has been recognised and incorporated into European policies. EC Regulation 245/2009 sets phasing out requirements for a range of frequently used street lamp types between 2012 and 2017. Phasing out means that these product groups will no longer be placed on the market and will no longer be available for purchase.
The very recent market introduction of LED technology for street lighting offers high savings with comparatively short pay-back times. LED technologies have developed very rapidly, especially in the last few years. Today, with cost reduction potentials of over 50%, LED lighting is already an economically very interesting option for street lighting refurbishment.
Moreover, street lighting refurbishment presents a unique opportunity for the uptake of guaranteed energy services in the form of energy performance contracts (EPC):
- Phasing out requirements are placing municipalities under pressure to act: nearly 80 % of all currently used lamps types will not be available after 2017
- Street lighting refurbishment, especially with the availability of LED and other innovative solutions that are economically attractive and offer a relatively low level of complexity, presents a low risk entry point into the provision of EPC services for SMEs
The project "STREETLIGHT-EPC" creates demand and supply for EPC projects in 9 regions by setting up regional EPC facilitation services. These services will provide comprehensive support to both municipalities and SMEs as potential ESCOs.
The project partners strive towards the following major outputs:
- Establishing EPC markets in 9 European regions through regional EPC facilitating services
- Implementing 36 EPC projects, triggering 49 million Euro investments, achieving annual savings of 32,100 MWh and 4.8 million Euro
- Inducing 18 SMEs to becoming ESCOs
- Contributing to EU product policies (phasing-out requirements) and the European Energy Efficiency Directive (strengthening energy services markets)
The project team includes 9 regional agencies/organisations, which will provide the EPC facilitation services, 9 municipalities and a European network.
The project started on 1 April 2014 and will run until 31 March 2017.
The Streetlight-EPC project works with a number of European initiatives, as for example:
- EESI2020 - European Energy Service Initiative:
EESI 2020 – the European Energy Service Initiative towards the EU 2020 energy saving targets” is a project addressing the EU 20% energy saving objective by a significantly broader use of Energy Performance Contracting (EPC). The EESI 2020 project aims at supporting large cities and metropolitan regions integrate long-lasting EPC implementation schemes in their energy plans. EESI 2020 will concentrate on the systematic implementation of EPC projects in these cities and regions.
- Transparense - Increasing Transparency of Energy Service Markets:
The goal of the Transparense project is to increase the transparency and trustworthiness of Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) markets throughout Europe. With its twenty partners covering both mature and emerging EPC markets, the project is exploiting its potential to transfer the know-how across Europe, support EPC markets in Europe and thereby achieve substantial energy efficiency improvement.
- Buy Smart+ - Green Procurement in Europe:
The main objectives of Buy Smart+ was to consolidate and mainstream green procurement in 7 member states and to transfer the know-how to 8 member states where green procurement is still at an early stage. The main focus was on energy related technologies. Buy Smart+ established green procurement helpdesks in all 15 countries, delivering in national language consultation, training, good practice, and well-tested tools.
- Primes - Green Public Procurement:
Across six countries in Europe; Denmark, Sweden, Latvia, Croatia, France and Italy, PRIMES project seeks to help municipalities overcome barriers in GPP processes. The project aim is to develop basic skills and provide hands-on support for public purchasing organizations in order to overcome barriers and implement Green Public Purchasing. This will support a consequent energy and CO2 reduction.
- Proca - Green Public Procurement in Action:
The main objective of ProcA is the promotion of green public procurement (GPP) among public authorities. The project primarily focusses on signatories of the Covenant of Mayors (CoM) addressing GPP in their Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAP). Furthermore, local authorities that are on the brink of becoming CoM signatory or have other voluntary targets for enhancing energy efficiency or reducing CO2 emissions may also qualify for receiving support in ProcA.
- BLISS - Better Lighting In Sustainable Streets:
BLISS is a European project which was set up to achieve a reduction in street lighting energy consumption. The project participants are St. Helens in the UK, Eindhoven in the Netherlands, Interleuven in Belgium and Kaiserslautern in Germany. Together, these four European local councils intend to drastically reduce street lighting costs by using new cutting-edge technologies. We are looking for bright ideas for Planet Earth.
- CombinES - Combining energy services with subsidy schemes to finance energy efficiency:
The fundamental idea behind the project was to maximize energy savings through effectively defining and interconnecting activities of public subsidy programmes with the implementation of energy services. The goal was to prepare both general as well as specific recommendations for the provision of subsidy resources and concurrently opening the market of energy services in a manner which will enable the highest possible energy savings by lowering the public expenditures. CombinES strengthened regional as well as trans-national cooperation of key players along the energy efficiency value chain with a long-term impact of better safeguarding EU natural resources and contributing to sustainability strategies.
- EnPC-INTRANS - Capacity Building on Energy Performance Contracting in European Markets in Transition:
A European cooperation project promoting the market uptake of innovative financing schemes based on energy performance contracting (EPC) for the improvement of energy efficiency in public buildings in European municipalities.
- EPC PLUS - Energy Performance Contracting Plus:
Development of commercial, standardized energy service packages for SMEs in each participant country that suit the specific and particular requirements of their country. These will include a standardized technical solution for a specific market sector, a model contract and, where possible, a financing solution.
- Trust-EPC-South - Building TRUST in Energy Performance Contracting for tertiary sector in Southern European Countries:
The overall objective of Trust EPC South is to scale up investments on Energy Efficiency (EE) and Sustainable Energy technologies in the private tertiary sector of southern European countries, with particular focus on EPC projects. This objective will be achieved through the development of an ad hoc investment assessment and benchmarking framework building upon an established real estate assessment tool (Green Rating™) and supported with the organization of tailored capacity building activities that will allow project developers, project sponsors and private tertiary sector actors to more easily access third party financing, thus unlocking the large tertiary sector EE and RES market potential.
CITYnvest focuses on supporting and replicating successful innovative financing models for energy efficiency renovations in public buildings. It features models, based on Energy Performance Contracting (EPC), Third Party Financing (TPF), revolving funds, cooperatives and others.
Building capacities and skills of local authorities, Triggering energy savings in three pilot regions in Belgium, Bulgaria and Spain, Preparing ground for investments in energy efficient deep renovations of public buildings, Shaping regulations and policies on local, national and European level, Creating sustainable jobs.