OÖ Energiesparverband is mentoring about EPC for public lighting

The mentor ‘OÖ Energiesparverband (ESV)(AT)’ and mentees London Borough of Sutton (UK)’, Municipality of Egaleo (EL)’, and Municipality of Agios Dimitrios (EL)’ of the 4th Learning Group for Public Lighting participated in two online peer learning sessions. +Mentors' Corner

Energy efficiency improvement measures often require significant upfront investments. In many cases, Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) can offer a solution to overcome this obstacle. A well-functioning contracting market can contribute to achieving significant increase in energy efficiency and long-term energy and cost savings. Upper Austria was the first region to implement a dedicated programme to overcome barriers of Energy Contracting market development.

The regional government started its first programme for EPC market development in 1998.

The programme supports energy efficiency projects and investments in renewable energy technologies in the public and business sectors. The key to the programme's success is the combination of a strong supporting facilitation service (information & advice services offered by the regional energy agency) and a financial incentive offered by the regional government. Overall, this has led to a functional and well developed EPC market in Upper Austria with many EPC projects implemented each year. More than 200 contracting projects were supported (about 100 in municipalities, 50 in companies and 50 in institutions), with a total investment of around 65 million Euros. In Upper Austria more than 30 ESCOs offer services in the region.

The mentor ESV presented how EPC has found its place in the portfolio of sustainable energy solutions in Upper Austria.The learning activities officially started on the 4th of June 2018 (Step 1)

During Step 2 of the Learning Programme, a second online session took place on the 12th of September 2018. The mentees presented a number of energy efficiency projects in their cities and specific needs to be addressed by the mentor during the physical meeting visit.

Mentees visited Linz to learn about EPC in public lighting

The physical meeting took place in the on the 5th and 6th of December 2018. The 4th PROSPECT learning group for public lighting met in Linz, Upper Austria, to exchange experience and knowledge about setting up Energy Performance Contracting (EPC). The scheme, which is considered both a financial and operational mechanism, has been implemented in Upper Austria for more than 20 years with the support of the mentor OÖ Energiesparverband (ESV).

Image: courtesy of OÖ Energiesparverband. PROSPECT learning group 4 on Public Lighting meets at ESV office. From left to right: Anja Gahleitner (ESV), Olga Vlachou (Municipality of Agios Dimitrios), Dimitrios Tzempelikos (Municipality of Egaleo), Christine Oehlinger (ESV), Jen Heemann (IHS – Erasmus University), Christiane Egger (ESV), and Gerhard Dell (ESV).


During the two days, the municipalities of Agios Dimitrios and Egaleo learned how to set up EPC to improve the public lighting systems of their cities while, at the same time, reducing energy consumption, costs, and GHG emissions. The first day took place at ESV office, where presentations and QAs sessions made sure the mentees understand the main characteristics and aspects of EPC. ESV shared the EPC experience of several municipalities of different countries, providing realistic ideas and solutions to address challenges related to the development of EPC in the Greek context.

In the second day of the physical meeting, the mentees had the opportunity to see how the energy transition works in practice – from both the point of view of an Energy Service Company (ESCO) and a municipality. In the morning, the group visited the EWW, an experienced ESCO who presented the types of EPC they have developed, drivers and challenges related to the implementation of such schemes, as well as the lighting options offered by the ESCO.


Image: courtesy of OÖ Energiesparverband. PROSPECT learning group meeting at ESV. From left to right: Jen Heemann (IHS - Erasmus University), Olga Vlachou (Municipality of Agios Dimitrios), Dimitrios Tzempelikos (Municipality of Egaleo), and Christine Oehlinger (ESV).


Image: courtesy of OÖ Energiesparverband. PROSPECT learning group visiting the ESCO EWW.

The afternoon was the time to meet the mayor and the team of the municipality of Bad Schallerbach, who recently set up an EPC scheme for the improvement of their lighting systems. Besides explaining the planning and implementation aspects of EPC, the team also showed a few lighting examples used by the municipality.


Images: courtesy of OÖ Energiesparverband. PROSPECT learning group visiting the municipality of Bad Schallerbach.



After two days of intense learning, the mentees returned to Greece with enough information to encourage the development of EPC in their context.



The 4th and last step of the Programme took place on the 24th of January 2019 and included an online session dedicated to the assessment and evaluation of the peer learning activities.

Detailed action plans were submitted by the mentees, in light of the new acquired knowledge gained from the mentor. Conditions for success and key parameters that could affect negatively the plans were also identified, along with a benchmark survey that encapsulated all the outcomes of the learning group.

Rethinking the financing scheme:

Main impressions and understanding about the financing scheme:

My main impression is that an EPC is a very promising financing tool. Additionally, the analytical presentations of the financing scheme helped me to understand in depth how an EPC is implemented and how an EPC could be applicated - representative of Egaleo

After the detailed presentations and also the field trip during the PROSPECT project, I was able to fully understand the financial scheme of Energy Contracting - representative of Agios Dimitrios

Key strengths of the financing scheme:

The benefits of EPC are summarized in the simplification of procedures and the rapid implementation of energy-saving actions.

  • Immediate results in energy savings
  • No municipality’s investment required.
  • No maintenance the problems for municipality.

Key weakness of the financing scheme:

The main weaknesses of EPC, in the Greek case, focus on the lack of relevant legislation but also on the immaturity of the political leadership to implement this financial tool.

  • Municipality’s technical staff is not needed.
  • EPC cannot be applied in small scale projects and requires minimum investment 50,000 euros.

Key steps to set up or develop the financing scheme:

Municipality’s staff training for tendering procedures and ESCOs with experience.

  • Simplification of legislation.
  • Implementation of pilot facilities for evaluation of the financial instrument.
  • Application to larger scale installations.