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Energy performance contracting in social housing: France, Italy, United Kingdom and Bulgaria - A feedback report from the FRESH project

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Lack of adapted funding is a major barrier to the energy retrofitting of social housing in Europe.

The Energy Performance Contract (EPC) model may help to overcome this obstacle by involving an Energy Service Company (ESCO) as Third Party Financing. The ESCO provides the necessary initial capital (either investing its own equity or obtaining a private or public loan), develops a comprehensive refurbishment plan (e.g. building envelope insulation and renovation of the heating system), takes responsibility of the interventions and the O&M and repays itself through the generated savings.

In the IEE supported FRESH project, social housing operators and ESCOs from France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Bulgaria propose to work out the legal, financial and technical framework for EPCs in social housing. The main results will be the tested implementation of EPCs for comprehensive refurbishment at four pilot sites as well as concrete tools and recommendations to public authorities for possible replication at national and European levels. The document explains how EPCs could help structure an economic model which will contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in social housing by a factor 4 before 2050 by securing energy savings and attracting private capital. The progress report of the pilot projects in France, Italy and the UK, as well as the situation in Bulgaria, followed by an analysis of the major obstacles to replicate EPCs in social housing on a larger scale has been presented.  Finally, possible amendments of the legal framework and energy efficiency policies are also included.