We wish you a good reading of this update and great summer holidays,
Table of Contents
- CITYnvest workshop investigates how to upscale successful practices in innovative financing in Italy
- Investments in energy efficiency need to happen locally, experts say at the CITYnvest workshop in Budapest
- Lithuanian local authorities explored innovative financing models at CITYnvest seminar in Vilnius
- CITYnvest partners gathered in Liège to discuss project developments
- EuroACE’s booklet builds on the expertise of CITYnvest
- CITYnvest represented at the European Sustainable Energy Week 2016
- Innovation lays in the catalysing role of a local government, the CITYnvest coordinator says at the CEMR Congress
- CITYnvest promoted at the “Salon des Mandataires”
- Bulgarian local authorities on board of CITYnvest at the General Assembly of the Association of Rhodope Municipalities
- Structural reforms needed to close the EU’s investment gap
- New report analyses implementation of Energy Performance of Buildings Directive
- 'Project Development Assistance' call from Horizon 2020 open until 15th of September 2016
CITYnvest workshop investigates how to upscale successful practices in innovative financing in Italy
On 25 May, representatives of local authorities, the construction sector, financial institutions and academia gathered in Milan to debate what needs to be done in order to carry out energy efficiency renovations on a large scale. The event was co-organised by CITYnvest, Climate Alliance Italy, Renovate Italy, Kyoto Club and Fondazione Cariplo.
The intense round table debates revealed that even though a number of successful examples exist all over Italy, and all stakeholders are aware that building renovations need to be tackled, many investment barriers persist. One of the main obstacles is the fact that the Energy Services Market is not yet sufficiently mature in several regions.
Christoph Thomsen from the Energy Agency of the German region of Baden-Württemberg (KEA), which is establishing a regional energy services market in Germany, suggested gathering all the stakeholders around the table and asking for their needs as a first step towards further development of the energy services sector.
Participants also discussed the involvement of banks and insurance companies in the renovation process. Representatives of these institutions were present at the meeting, and agreed to pursue the exchange in an ad-hoc working group. The working group will be set up with the support of CITYnvest and the other organisers of the event. A declaration containing the essential messages of participants to the regional level of Lombardy and the national Italian level is currently under revision and will be voted by the participants in the coming weeks.
Pictures and presentations from the event are available on the workshop page.
Investments in energy efficiency need to happen locally, experts say at the CITYnvest workshop in Budapest
On the 12th of May, local authorities and stakeholders in the energy services sector came together in Budapest to discuss financing solutions for renovating the building stock in Hungary. The goal of the CITYnvest workshop was to increase capacities of the towns and regions to launch renovation programmes and attract adequate financing.
Prioritizing energy efficiency often promoted by EU policy makers, but at the end of the day investments in energy efficiency need to happen locally. As Dan Staniaszek from the Buildings Performance Institute of Europe addressed the participants: “You are the ones that mobilise local stakeholders, you engage with the building owners and citizens, and all of you are potential real project champions!”
“Building owners need guarantees on safety, health and affordability”, said Nicholas Stancioff from the Sunshine project. Since many of the residential buildings in Hungary are multi-family blocks, with low or no energy performance standards, the similarity to the buildings tackled in the Sunshine project is evident. Thus the experts suggested to replicate elements of this model in the Hungarian context. However, many questions on the ESCO model were raised: How do we know the cost savings doesn’t disappear in the ESCOs’ pockets? Why should we engage with models like Energy Performance Contracting, rather than waiting for grant support?
Nevertheless, most of the participants agreed: energy efficiency projects that are profitable don’t need to wait, as we are wasting money every day by not acting immediately. The benefits of energy efficiency should also be better valued, and by consequence, better monetized to build solid business plans.
After the debates in Budapest, it became clear that the state level can help to set an operating framework with clear laws and long-term directions, which would allow local and regional authorities act effectively on the energy efficiency. The conference made clear the local authorities actually implement projects and push the other levels of governance to make the legislative framework more supportive. The numerous local authorities present in the conference confirmed the basic principle of CITYnvest: local authorities are the catalyzers that walk the talk and implement concrete energy efficiency projects.
Presentations and pictures from the event are available on the page of the event.
Lithuanian local authorities explored innovative financing models at CITYnvest seminar in Vilnius
On the 17th of May 2016, representatives of local authorities, financial institutions, academia, housing associations and policy makers from local and regional level gathered in Vilnius to explore the innovative financing instruments for energy retrofits in the municipal building stock. The event was co-organised by CITYnvest and the Association of Local Authorities in Lithuania.
The local authorities in Lithuania recognize the necessity of renovating existing buildings on their territory. However, while financing programmes for the residential and governmental buildings retrofits have already been implemented with the support of the national government, financing for renovations of the municipal stock is still being developed. Thus, the participants of the event were very eager to learn more about good practices from Rotterdam and Berlin.
It seems like in Lithuania, there is a special interest in exploring ESCO model. However, there were only a few attempts of implementing Energy Performance Contracts and the local authorities do not have sufficient expertise. The funding may also be an issue, as ESCO financing increases the public debt. Yet, Lieven Vanstraelen from CITYnvest stressed that ESCO is rather an operational than financial model thus it can be combined with other sources of money, such as grants, own funds or loans. On the other hand, Ard den Outer from the Rotterdam Green Buildings project advised to combine renovations with maintenance contracts in case of using ESCO model, which would allow more efficient budget planning.
“It is difficult for an individual municipality to be a pioneer, says Lieven Vanstraelen. If you don’t have a level of size, you need to have the level of aggregation. That is what happened in the Liège region. GRELiège, an organisation responsible for stimulating economic growth in the region has set up a department within this existing organisation. This department, called RenoWatt developed a one-stop-shop, which provides assistance to municipalities in energy efficiency renovations in buildings. RenoWatt is bundling the projects, which allows to reach a profitable size of investments.”
The panellists stressed that someone needs to take the initiative and start a pilot project, which would allow to build up expertise in innovative models in Lithuania. In order to do so, a political commitment and a clear definition of a level of ambition and a target audience are necessary. Thus regular meetings of all stakeholders, which would allow to achieve common understanding, can be a good starting point for the development of innovative financing models in Lithuania.
All presentations and pictures from the event are available on the page of the event.
CITYnvest partners gathered in Liège to discuss project developments
The morning session started with Anne-Francoise Marique’s presentation of the energy efficiency renovation of the Sart Tilman University Campus, which was funded by the EEEF. The speaker pointed out that the technical assistance, and combining high energy consuming buildings with retaining architectural and patrimonial value was crucial for conducting the project. However, the biggest challenge was related to the planning, since EEEF left only a short time to launch tenders. The afternoon session was opened by Jacues Pelerin, the president of GRE-Liège. He introduced GRE- Liège, its aims and pointed out synergies between GRE- Liège and CITYnvest.
The Steering Committee meeting gathered all the project partners, which gave an opportunity to shoot a video about CITYnvest. Thus a film crew was invited to the gathering and the CITYnvest video will be launched in September 2016.
EuroACE’s booklet builds on the expertise of CITYnvest
According to Miguel Casas, “There is no silver bullet, and several operational models can deliver if well adapted to the context.” However, we can speak about two major models; facilitation (e.g. project assistance by an expert) and integration (e.g. one-stop-shops integrating demand and supply, and sometimes financing into one body). Both models can be combined with aggregation, which means combining projects with same characteristics, like social housing, or at a neighborhood level, into a single larger project in order to achieve a profitable size of investment. These different models address the vast majority of ‘barriers’ usually described in relation to energy efficiency in buildings. However, typically, integration models deliver more energy savings but their timeframe is rather medium to long-term. Moreover, their success is also linked to the clear leadership role of public authorities in setting the right enabling framework.
More information about different models and their comparison is available in the CITYnvest report “Increasing capacities in cities for innovating financing in energy efficiency”.
CITYnvest represented at the European Sustainable Energy Week 2016
Innovation lays in the catalysing role of a local government, the CITYnvest coordinator says at the CEMR Congress
This session placed attention on introducing and implementing innovative financing models, as well as redefining and improving existing financing schemes for Local Governments in order to mobilise additional private investments.
Elise Steyaert highlighted that energy efficiency investment projects are operating in an immature market, where transaction costs and risk perception are still very high. Local governments have a leading role to play in triggering wide-scale renovation programs in buildings and closing the energy efficiency investment gap.
"Innovation does not only lay in the nature of the financial product or instrument itself but in a catalizing role of a local government, which sets up a new partnership including SMEs, citizens and mobilize the whole value chain”, says the CITYnvest coordinator.
One of the case studies featured by CITYnvest was also presented during the event by Elodie Denizart, from Representation of the Hauts-de-France Region to the EU. The Picardie Pass Renovation is a financial innovation model focusing on a third part investment scheme. The Hauts-de-France Region decided to implement a dedicated public service for energy efficiency, which provides assistance in renovating private home houses.
More information about the model and detailed analysis of the model can be read in the CITYnvest resources library. The PPT presentation by Elise Steyaert can also be downloaded from our website.
Photo credits © CEMR.
CITYnvest promoted at the “Salon des Mandataires”
A breakfast at the joint stand of CITYnvest and RenoWatt gathered several representatives of municipalities, ESCOs, NGOs and agencies working on climate, energy, environment and territorial development, giving them an opportunity to discuss informally prospective cooperation. The breakfast was followed by a conference outlining both projects.
The « Salon des Mandataires » is an annual event held in February in Marche-en-Famenne. It is dedicated to all public authorities in the Walloon region. Most of the members of Walloon parliament, government and administration, as well as mayors and local authorities’ representative are present at this event.
Bulgarian local authorities on board of CITYnvest at the General Assembly of the Association of Rhodope Municipalities
The press release on the meeting was issued and published in several Bulgarian media.
Structural reforms needed to close the EU’s investment gap
New research by Ecofys reports that the total public funding for energy efficiency in the EU grew from about €6 billion in 2012 - when the Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU) was approved, to about €7.1 billion in 2014. This trend, which can also be observed in Central and Eastern Europe, is encouraging, but a lot still needs to be done to break down barriers to energy efficiency investments. Read more on the website.
New report analyses implementation of Energy Performance of Buildings Directive
The Concerted Action EPBD releases its 2016 report "Implementing the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) – Featuring Country Reports." It analyses and compares implementation of the Directive across the 28 EU Member States and Norway.The report is built in two parts: part A describes the main accomplishments and remaining challenges on a selection of major topics covered by the EPBD, part B provides a detailed overview of implementation in each country. Read more on the website.
Project Development Assistance' call from Horizon 2020 open until 15th of September 2016
The current 'Project Development Assistance' call from Horizon 2020 supports investment projects with resources for hiring technical staff, making due diligence investigations and feasibility studies.The deadline of this call is 15 September. Read more on the website.