C4_PuB4: AEGEA mentoring in PROSPECT Learning Cycle 4 on Public Buildings
The Mentor Aegean Energy and Environment Agency (AEGEA)’ (Greece) and the Mentees ‘UCSA – Ufficio Comune per la Sostenibilità Ambientale, Municipalities of Palma Campania, San Giuseppe Vesuviano, San Gennaro Vesuviano and Striano’ (Italy) and Municipality of Nea Ionia (Greece) are participating in the 4th cycle of the PROSPECT Learning Programme under the module “Public Buildings”. +Mentors' Corner
The peer learning activities focus on Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) and Public Private Partnership (PPP), in particular the involvement of ESCOs in the retrofitting and refurbishment of public buildings, as well as in mixing public financing schemes with PPP/ESCOs.
Step 1 and step 2 of the PROSPECT Learning Programme were merged in a unique online session, held on the 21st January 2020. The representatives of the two Mentees, respectively Ms. Michela Aufiero and Ms. Ourania Mavridou, presented the territorial framework of their municipalities, their projects, and, with the support of the Facilitator, their learning needs and objectives.
The representative of the Mentor, Arch. Stavros Apostolou, presented AEGEA's experience in public building retrofitting. The project used the application of mixed funding scheme, EPC with structural funds (ESIF), in the design and awarding of energy efficiency interventions through bundling of public buildings, in order to reach high targets in energy consumption savings (50%), improve environmental performance and boost the energy service market in Greece. In total the project managed to retrofit 11 public buildings from 4 different insular municipalities. The EPC investment plans were elaborated within the STEPPING project (Interreg MED). You can learn more about the project here.
Ready to move forward
The mentor Aegean Energy and Environment Agency (Greece) and the two mentees from UCSA – Ufficio Comune per la Sostenibilità Ambientale (Italy) and Municipality of Nea Ionia (Greece) concluded the third step of their journey with the PROSPECT fourth learning group on Public Buildings. The third step - Meeting Up - that was originally organized as site visit in Athens had to be shifted to online format due to the Coronavirus and the global lockdown. A 2 – day webinar was delivered, respectively on the 28th April and on the 5th May, 2020.
The first day focused on the life cycle of an EPC saving project, including monitoring and verification steps and EPC types. The ESCO ZEB (Greece) presented in detail a successful example of an energy performance contract and related project carried out for a Greek municipality for the renovation of a hospital. ZEB’s lecturers, Mr. Marios Tsakiris and Mr. George Pantelidis, presented the mentees with a lot of suggestions on what to include (and what not) when proposing an EPC to an ESCO..
“The ESCO’s presentations were really informative and useful, providing insight of the market conditions and the possible problems that may arise during the implementation of a project” (Ourania Mavridou, Municipality of Nea Ionia, Mentee).
The second day, instead, focused on the STEPPING project – Supporting The EPC Public Procurement IN Going – beyond (Interreg MED) and the most frequent bottlenecks in the use of EPC in the public sector, both in Italy and Greece. The mentor & lecturer, Arch. Stavros Apostolou, presented the main barriers faced by the mentees’ countries in the implementation of EPC as main tool for the renovation / retrofitting of public buildings, as well as how to combine EPC and Structural Funds.
“The webinars presented the opportunity for both parts to exchange experiences and knowledge on the EPC process, compare the situation in two different countries and to discuss important issues regarding the complexity of the process and the available solutions. The additional information that the ESCO presented and the questions of the Mentees offered new aspects in the webinar that were useful also for our part, as both the ESCO and the Mentees are providing their experiences and knowledge on the matter respectively.” (Stavros Apostolou, AEGEA, Mentor)
Transferability & Replication: Mix of structural funds and EPCs for buildings renovation
Facilitator, Mentor and Mentees met for the last time within this learning journey on the 23rd June 2020.
The Step 4 meeting was the occasion to share and test improved knowledge and receive valuable feedback and tips from the mentor, Stavros Apostolou (AEGEA - EL). Ourania Mavridou, the mentee representing the Municipality of Nea Ionia (EL), presented the lesson learnt that will be included in the municipality’s action plan: 1) a good preparation of the EPC is essential and takes time; 2) awareness raising and trust building among public employees are necessary to highlight the benefits coming from the use of ESCOs for the renovation of public buildings.
“PROSPECT happened at the right time in our planning”! This is how Michela Aufiero, the mentee representing the Ufficio Comune per la Sostenibilita’ Ambientale (Municipalities of Palma Campania, San Giuseppe Vesuviano and Striano - IT), introduced her action plan, focusing on energy screening for public buildings and public lighting. Michela also highlighted what are the main lessons learnt from this learning programme that will be transferred in the local planning: timing and a well planned calendar of the activities as well as capacity building of all the actors involved are essential for the successful execution of a project.
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