Using Energy Performance Contracting and innovative financing instruments to finance your SEAP actions

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Target audience

Municipal representatives • regional authority representatives • national authority representatives • other stakeholders from energy agencies and the financial sector

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On the 16th and 17th of May, Energy Cities in coordination with the Energy Agency of Savinjska, Šaleška and Koroška Region (KSSENA) organised a ManagEnergy workshop in Velenje, Slovenia. This was the third ManagEnergy workshop to take place in Slovenia. In 2011 the workshop took place in Maribor and in addition to SEAP development there was an introduction to financial mechanisms including working with ESCOs. In 2012 the workshop in Kamnik was focused on SEAP development with an introduction to barriers to EPC in Slovenia. That is why this workshop was 100% dedicated to finance with a special focus on Energy Performance Contracting (EPC).

The Workshop gathered 24 participants, the majority of them representatives of energy agencies (Energy Agency Pomurje, Spodnje Podravje) and development agencies (Savinja, Žalec and Sinergija). The objective was to facilitate the use of EPC (commercial financing in general) and innovative financing instruments utilization within energy efficiency and environmental investment projects on all levels of public administration.

On the first day the workshop allowed for periods where knowledge could be shared via presentations by experts on financial structuring issues and theoretical financing possibilities , such as project loans, asset based financing – leasing, grants/subsidies (national or EU), general municipal loan and third party financing (ESCO) and detailed information on EPCs. There were also two training sessions: one making use of a project managed by KSSENA in Velenje to finance the reconstruction of the Primary School Livada, unit Škale; and the other the experience of ENERGAP who since 2006 has been helping the municipality of Maribor to find financial resources for project implementation. One of the main topics discussed by participants during this training session is the specific problem of Slovenia being highly fragmented with too many municipalities.

In the afternoon, the interested participants had a chance to visit Gorenje Company where the reconstruction of outer and inner lighting, as well as the modernization of production lines of washing and drying machines was presented.

On the second day Alexandra Waldmann, from Network GREEN, presented the financing options for municipalities in the future, challenges and opportunities of EPCs. Further presentation were made of concrete financing options in Slovenia such as the ECO fund, which is a Slovenian national fund that cofinances energy measures and also local projects funded by the cohesion funds. This was then followed by an open debate moderated by the director of KSSENA. One of the main conclusions of the debate is that ultimately carrying out EPCs requires a basic level of trust (e.g. in contracts signed and intentions communicated) and community oriented thinking. In the absence of these, it will unlikely be successful. Societal ("soft") factors are at least as important for its success, as energy related issues. Of particular interest to the participants was the question on how the experts communicate with the municipalities and how they show the results of the projects to them, since it is necessary first to convince municipalities if more projects are to be carried out.

The conclusion of this workshop was that in addition to the global financial crisis and national political crisis, Slovenia’s biggest problem is the fragmentation of the country with too many municipalities. The Ministry will be forced to provide a new concept of financing or to reduce the number of municipalities. This process can be time consuming and politically sensitive, especially concerning the smaller municipalities. The best way is that municipalities recognize for themselves the need to merge. One possible way is preparing common activities concerning solving energy problems and adopting local energy plans together with SEAPs to achieve the objectives. This can lead to bigger success on public calls and more opportunity to gain greater financial resources from different sources. Energy Agencies should also be recognized as an interim instrument for the implementation of joint projects in the field of energy and SEAPs used as guiding documents for the future development of the area.

The following participants had this to say about the workshop:

Slaven Pandol , an energy consultant for buildings and industry, found most valuable the experience shared by energy agencies’ specific projects. As follow-up of the workshop he would recommend an opinion from the agency for efficient use of energy and opinion from ECO fund about simplification of procedures for fundraising (credits and grants). He also added one point, that consortiums of energy agencies and energy consultants or the ministry should prepare a few samples of the possible contracts for EPC or ESCO contracting.

Andrej Zver , a representative of Development Agency Sinergija, would like to add more examples of good practice. The most valuable at this workshop were new findings and possibilities of further cooperation.

Download presentations from the workshop here.

View pictures here

Venue

16
May

Velenje, Slovenia

Organised by: Energy Cities in coordination with the Energy Agency of Savinjska, Šaleška and Koroška Region (KSSENA).

Event website: http://managenergy.ne...

Contacts:

Name: Mr Ian Turner
Telephone: n/a
Email: ian.turner@energy-cities.eu