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Thanks to EPC projects, municipalities have cut the energy consumption of their buildings by 20 to 25% as well as reducing their CO2 emissions. In Meise and Londerzeel, the EPC came into force on January 1, 2018. This is the first time that two Flemish municipalities have teamed up to submit a joint application.
Both municipalities own many buildings, most of which are old and therefore not up to current or future energy standards. In other words, they consume too much energy. In addition, most municipalities do not have the financial resources needed to invest in reducing energy consumption. Renovation work is often postponed.
The province of Flemish Brabant has also created an innovative coaching programme to help municipalities to take steps to save energy in their buildings. With this in mind, the province has opted for the EPC model. Thanks to this coaching programme, Flemish Brabant is encouraging the development of EPC projects for municipal buildings.
For an energy service company (ESCO), an EPC project involves implementing energy efficiency and renewable energy measures, with a contractual guarantee that the expected energy savings will be made and will continue throughout the term of the contract. The revenue generated by these savings is used to repay the cost of the investments made. This limits the financial risk for the owner of the building, in this case the municipality.
In the case at hand, the municipalities of Londerzeel and Meise decided to finance the investments themselves. If the energy savings exceed the guaranteed threshold, ENGIE Cofely and the municipalities will share the excess profits. If the savings are lower than expected, ENGIE Cofely will refund the difference. Once the financing has been repaid, all energy savings made go to the municipalities, which, after 15 years, will have more modern, energy efficient and comfortable buildings.
EPCs are generally used for large buildings or groups of several buildings that consume sufficiently considerable amounts of energy. This is why Londerzeel and Meise decided to team up and pool their buildings with the aid of Flemish Brabant’s Duurzaam Bouwen support centre. The coaching programme resulted in a partnership with the facilitator Ingenium, which negotiated the EPC on behalf of the municipalities. This process led to ENGIE Cofely being awarded the project.
“The EPC project dovetails with the global climate action plan and the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, under which both Londerzeel and Meise are striving to cut their energy consumption by 20% by 2020. The EPC poses another challenge. ENGIE Cofely promises Londerzeel and Meise that the energy consumption of municipal buildings will fall by at least 20%”, states Tom Troch, the alderman for energy. This will correspond to a reduction in CO2 emissions totalling over 700 tonnes per year for both municipalities.
The EPC application submitted by Londerzeel and Meise is unique because:
Starting January 1, 2018, for the next 15 years ENGIE Cofely will deal with the maintenance of the municipal buildings as well as those of the Public Centre for Social Welfare, in addition to implementing initiatives to save energy. Ingenium will continue to support the municipalities to keep track of the EPC.
The work will also significantly reduce the amount of water consumed by the Meise municipal swimming pool, more specifically through the optimisation of the filtration system. Over 200 m³ of water in total will be saved each year.
“We are proud to have been chosen by the municipalities of Meise and Londerzeel. We are seeing a new dynamic between the public and private sectors in making buildings more sustainable and energy efficient. ENGIE wants to be the leading partner of public institutions looking to seize all opportunities afforded by the energy transition to enhance comfort and simplify management”, highlights Stan de Pierpont, General Manager of ENGIE Cofely.
The EPC coaching project has achieved considerable success. In Flemish Brabant, no fewer than five municipal or intermunicipal EPC projects are in the pipeline. The Meise-Londerzeel project is the first to be rolled out in reality. As for the four other EPC programmes (more specifically in the municipalities of Beersel, Dilbeek, Grimbergen and Bertem-Lubbeek), an ESCO will be appointed over the course of 2018. Hal and Vilvoorde made the decision during the coaching programme to take care of their municipal real estate themselves.
By 2020, ESCOs in Flemish Brabant will invest in energy savings in dozens of municipal buildings totalling an estimated €5.2 million, cutting energy consumption by 20 to 25% and reducing CO2 emissions by 7,260 tonnes!
“This project shows that municipalities, with supralocal support, can successfully develop energy projects to considerably reduce their CO2 emissions”, explains Tie Roefs, Deputy Governor for the Environment and Sustainable Development. “As we want our province to be climate neutral by 2040, we need the support of the municipalities. Citizens, companies, schools and other organisations also expect the municipalities to set an example. Thanks to the province’s EPC coaching programme, we can help them already.”