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New EPC for local communities in Lombardy

  Since 2006, the Italian private grantmaking foundation with bank origin, Cariplo Foundation, has launched various programs in order to support the energy sustainability of […]

New EPC for local communities in Lombardy

 

Since 2006, the Italian private grantmaking foundation with bank origin, Cariplo Foundation, has launched various programs in order to support the energy sustainability of local public administrations, granting with almost 16 M€ 3.800 Energy Audits and 860 Sustainable Energy Action Plans, following the European initiative of the Covenant of Mayors.

In early 2014, after the interesting and positive experiences of the first edition of the ELENA initiative, the Foundation decided to replicate the facility at a reduced scale in consideration of some difficulties inherent in the ELENA facility itself:

  • The impossibility for the majority of the superordinate bodies to participate as coordinators and economic guarantors of the planned investments.
  • The difficulty in reaching the minimum investment thresholds due to the small size of the Municipalities in Lombardy (87% less than 10.000 inh.).
  • The limited diffusion and experience in the Municipalities of third-party trust instruments compatible with the constraints established by the “Stability Pact”.

The three editions of the call: “100 Efficient and Sustainable Municipalities”, nicknamed micro-elena, reported a participation of 150 small and medium-sized municipalities with up to 100,000 inhabitants, granted with 4,5 M€. This initiative, granting up to 90% of the Technical Assistance costs, allowed the energy refurbishment of more than 300 buildings and 60 public lighting systems for € 60 million  of investments and avoiding the emission of almost 10,000 tons / year of CO2.

However, some critical issues still persisted:

  • The slowness of the procedures, many projects begun in early 2015 are still running.
  • The grant for Technical Assistance is not excluded from the stability pact.
  • The difficulty in entrusting the contracts to consultants for Technical Assistance by the Municipalities.
  • The municipal administrations are generally with undersized staff.
  • The initiaive does not allow the deep retrofit of buildings.
  • The consultants involved do not aim at innovation, preferring the implementation of traditional Supply Energy Contracting tenders instead of Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) tendering.

For these reasons, the Foundation decided to launch, in 2016, a new program, called “Territori Virtuosi” where, unlike the previous program,  the Technical Assistance provider was selected for the whole programme, steered and paid directly by the Foundation.

The T.A. service includes:

  • Diagnostic assessment of buildings and public lighting;
  • Tender documents drafting and execution of the whole bidding process itself;
  • Economic-financial evaluation of the projects;
  • Management of relations with credit institutions and for the development of balanced Public-Private Partnerships;
  • Design and implementation of monitoring programs;

The Cariplo Foundation is currently managing the first new program “Territori Virtuosi” for implementing EPCs in 15 public bodies (Municipalities + Former Province of Milan, now Metropolitan City), for a total of 300 buildings, mainly schools. The cost of the program is € 1.2 million, borne entirely by the Foundations. Investments in energy efficiency and renewable sources of around € 40 million are expected from this new initiative.

The project involves also two other objectives:

  • Find a specific financing program in order to support (small) ESCos.
  • Gather the project’s output in a webgis, mainly monitoring data.

A second call with the same characteristics is in preparation and will be launched by February 2018.


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