PadovaFIT! is a programme initiated by the Municipality of Padova in 2012 aiming at implementing a large scale housing retrofit programme of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources (RES) measures addressing private households -in particular apartment buildings- and, to a smaller extent, public housing and service facility buildings in the Padova urban area (city of Padova and the municipalities in the area adhering to the project). The retrofit programme is based on the principle of Energy Performance Contracting (EPC).
The programme is designed to facilitate and finance energy efficiency retrofits for mainly private apartment buildings in order to improve their energy performance and achieve substantial energy savings. It specifically intends to support these energy efficiency retrofits based on standardised energy conservation measures per type of building, on ESCO financing and on the creation of the role of “apartment building facilitator”.
PadovaFIT’s purpose was also to contribute to the implementation of the Municipality of Padova’s Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) which was building on previously adopted local energy plans. The SEAP, adopted in 2011 by the Municipality (as a signatory of the Covenant of Mayors since 2009) and approved by the European Union in 2012, crystalised the municipality’s commitment to meet the energy reduction targets set out by the Covenant.
Within the framework of its SEAP the municipality was actively pushing local policies to support the implementation of energy efficiency and RES measures to retrofit the public and private building stock. This was most desired as the building stock in the Padova urban area was to a large extent built with no attention to energy consumption, e.g. the low energy efficient apartment buildings were averaging building energy efficiency class G, and many households did not have the financial resources or borrowing capacity or lacked the knowledge to improve the living conditions of their dwellings.
PadovaFIT’s approach, based on the municipality’s previous experiences with public district heating of its own buildings, is to aggregate apartment buildings, representing rather small and differentiated investment projects, in order to increase the scale of the project, allowing for energy efficiency and transaction cost optimisation and making the project bankable.
To this end, the Municipality, as coordinator of the programme, has formed a consortium with experienced local private stakeholders, a cooperative bank, an Energy Services Company (ESCO), a higher education non-profit foundation and an engineering company, willing to collaborate and invest in the development of the PadovaFIT! scheme.
This consortium, which is actually the programme delivery unit (PDU), coordinates and facilitates the whole implementation process, it provides technical support to its beneficiaries and plays an active role in the promotion of the programme and in the training of the apartment building facilitators. It acts as marketer, aggregator, facilitator, assessor and financial advisor.
Based on a foreseen investment amount of around 15,8M €, the programme’s ambition is to retrofit by the end of the programme in 2016 at least 200 buildings in the private housing sector and achieve average energy savings of 25%. The investment would target about 2250 apartments, decrease CO2 emissions by around 3,7K tonnes/year, save 15,7 GWh/year of primary energy and produce 2,3 GWh/year of renewable energy.
Based on its 15,8M € investment initiative the programme was able to secure 0,59M € funding from Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) under the initiative "Mobilising Local Energy Investments – Project Development Assistance" (MLEI-PDA) or 75% of the expected programme delivery costs of about 0,8M € for the period June 2013 through May 2016. The investment initiative would be leveraging the grant way above 25.
In October 2015 5 apartment buildings, representing 97 apartments, had formally adhered to the PadovaFIT! programme. Another 44 apartment buildings, representing 900 apartments and 25 businesses, were in the pace of deliberating their adherence to the programme.