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EESI – European Energy Service Initiative: challenges and chances for energy performance contracting in Europe

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The European Energy Service Initiative (EESI) broadly promotes the implementation of energy performance contracting, contributing strongly to the establishment of effective energy service markets in Europe. Results from the current market analysis in selected European countries show the European market for energy performance contracting as very heterogeneous. Some countries have well developed markets with several large energy service companies acting in it. Other countries are at a very early stage of development while some can already be characterized as emerging markets. This paper highlights the status quo of energy performance contracting in selected countries and discusses challenges for European market development and contains an overview about the chances of future perspectives of advanced energy performance contracting.
According to the European Commission, more than 20% of EU’s energy consumption is wasted through inefficiency. A large part of the available energy saving potential lies within buildings. This potential can be effectively targeted using energy services and other energy end-use efficiency measures.

Market based instruments are very effective tools to tap large economic saving potentials. Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) is such a tool. In an EPC project, an Energy Service Company (ESCO) provides its know-how and financial resources to implement adequate energy efficiency measures and takes on the performance risk to ensure that the stipulated energy savings are achieved. The investment is refinanced through the savings achieved. Good practice examples such as the Berlin Energy Saving Partnership outline the advantages of EPC.