OÖ Energiesparverband (ESV) mentoring in PROSPECT Learning Cycle 3

The Mentor ‘OÖ Energiesparverband (ESV)(AT)’ and Mentees ‘Municipality of Pesaro (Italy)’, ‘Municipality of Yerevan (Armenia)’, ‘Municipality of Vila Nova de Poiares (Portugal)’ and ‘Municipality of Liévin (France)’ are members of the 2nd Learning Group for Public Buildings of the 3rd Learning Cycle of PROSPECT Learning Programme. +Mentors' Corner

The group participated in two online peer learning sessions. During Step 1 of the Learning Programme, an online session (Orientation session) took place on the 17th of May 2019. At this first online session, ESV presented the ‘EPC in Upper Austria’ bundle of projects, covering many sectors such as Public Buildings, Public Lighting, Public and Business Buildings and Renewable Energy Installations etc. (Municipality of Bad Schallerbach, Municipality of Gunskirchen, Large-scale conversion to LED in Wels, Gas station "Pink"). It 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 Energy Performance Contracting (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 €. For example, in the Municipality of Gunskirchen the following savings were achieved: 78,300 kWh of electricity, 12,500 € of electricity costs, 28,000 € of maintenance costs, as well as a CO2 emission reduction of 36 tons.

During the Step 2 of the Learning Programme and on the 11th of June 2019 the team met again online. The Mentees presented projects and ideas related to the role of EPC in public buildings. Specific needs to be addressed during the visit by the mentor were discussed as well.

The Mentees visited ESV in Upper Austria to learn about EPC in public lighting

Step 3 includes the physical meeting, that took place on the 17th and 18th of September 2019 where representatives from all the participating cities and regions had the chance to talk in detail about all the stages of their project and become more familiar with clean energy best practices via targeted site visits.

The first day of the study visit was dedicated to a masterclass on EPC provided by three ESV experts. One session was entirely meant to focus on each mentee’s project and calculate the possibilities for EPC.


Gerhard Dell from ESV presents its calculations to the 4 mentees ©Anja Gahleitner, ESV.

The second day was a field trip to discover 3 different tangible projects implemented with EPC in Upper Austria. The first site visit was a 1,250 kW wood chips boiler at the education center for forestry in Traunkirchen. The second one was a 400 kW wood chips boiler at a school. Both were actually energy supply contracting and not energy performance contracting, which means that the measures finance daim at providing energy, reimbursement of the initial investment is done thanks to the billing for the consumed energy and the provision of the plants. Finally, the third one was the energy optimization of a vocational school in Linz.


The group in front of the education center for forestry ©Anja Gahleitner, ESV

Some Quotes from the Participants:

"Both the organizational part and the content of the study visit were very properly planned and carried out. ESV staff members are high professionals and good lecturers as well. It was very interesting to learn the experience of Upper Austria Energy Agency. Site visits were great. The heating systems and heaters that have been shown are best examples that must be duplicated. We have discovered a lot of new things. It was very useful to meet with our colleagues from different countries and cities.

I would also like to thank the mentor and the facilitator for their kind efforts to make the study visit interesting and useful."

Tigran S., mentee from the municipality of Yerevan, Armenia

“I spent two days with experts and enthusiastic colleagues. The visit was a source of positive inspiration, always new and even joyful.“

Margherita F., mentee from the municipality of Pesaro, Italy

“The reception was very good. Logistically-speaking everything was well prepared. The time-schedule was well structured : on the first day there was a more theoretical part and on the second day we had visits to see practical cases, thus being able to visualize the applicability of the solutions, associating with what was said the previous day, and directly contacting the agents involved. We analyzed the specific cases that each of us mentees brought. The time devoted to each subject was adequate, considering we had only 2 days, essential topics were addressed. It was undoubtedly very pleasant and profitable. Experiences were exchanged, knowledge gained, notes collected, and I brought back home documentation and useful contacts."

Hugo D., mentee from the municipality of Vila Nova de Poiares, Portugal

“The study visit was very well organized. I personally appreciated Dr Gerhard Dell’s speech on the “calculation of concrete examples” of energy performance contracting. Visiting the centre for forestry changed my opinion on the way we can carry out building projects with contractors (classical way) and energy performance contracting project with wood chips boiler that was really independent facility owned by a private company.”

Jean-Luc C., mentee from the municipality of Liévin, France


The 4th and last step of the Programme took place on the 12th of November 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:

It is very useful to learn about the experience of the Agency on Energy Performance Contracts. It could be applicable to the urban lighting projects in our city.

Now it is clear that the money coming from the energy savings are not enough to apply EPC. EPC is supposed to be used only for building refurbishment projects or eventually on new one that are rebuilt instead of old one.

The investment and capital costs are covered by the annual costs savings or through the sell of the energy (heat, cooling, electricity).

Key project implementation drivers:

Proper planning and accurate financial calculations will bring guaranteed results using private investors financial recourses.

If the budget allows it, the customers do not need to invest any money.

Savings for the client, profitability for the investor.

Key project implementation barriers:

  • It is difficult to use this scheme in the project with many components of measures in construction.
  • The process of applying EPC can take a long time..
  • There are some risks, such as the effectiveness of the measures, the realization of the expected savings, some unforeseen ones.

Key steps to set up or develop the financing scheme:

  • A clear financial plan.
  • Real inputs related to energy saving costs and the costs of the works to make the building energy efficient.
  • Rough analysis. (2-3 rough analysis, possibility tender decision about the project).
  • Details analysis. (ESCO develops a detailed analysis – technical planning of project).
  • Contract preparation. (Discussions about contract details).
  • Implementation (of the measures).
  • Contracting rate