On September the 6th, at the Regione Liguria premises, the EnerSHIFT tender for energy refurbishment through EPC contracts has been presented to the Trade Associations of companies in the Energy Efficiency sector and to Banking Representatives. The project coordinator explained the legal and financial structure of the competition, the modalities of participation, the awarding criteria and the core aspects regarding the economic sustainability of the initiative, in order to promote the participation of ESCs while encouraging the bankability of the projects.
From a regulatory point of view, the tender is based upon the legal institute of the Concession of Services within the meaning of the Italian Public Procurement Code, to be awarded through an open procedure and according to the MEAT criteria (most economically advantageous tender). ESCOs winning the tender will sign EPC contracts under the Shared Savings model.
The representatives of the Associations appreciated the possibility to better investigate the tender structure, moreover, they actively participated in the meeting with reflections and suggestions on how to promote the replicability of such initiatives at regional and national level.
Indeed, the EnerSHIFT competition is the first nationwide tender using EPC contracts for Social Housing buildings energy re-qualification: this provided, the identification of the legal scheme of the tender as well as the elaboration of its financial plan tackled complex technical, legal-administrative and economic-financial issues and obstacles to the definition of a structure responding both to the needs of the Public Administrations promoting the tender and to the expectations of the market operators.
Through the definition of the EnerSHIFT tender structure, the project partnership tried to meet the needs of the ESCos: for example, one of the main features of this tender (which turned out to be very challenging to realize at legal level) is that ESCO are appointed the freedom/responsibility to design the EE technical projects, since they are the ones (as required by the law) who assume on themselves the whole financial risk of the operation. Indeed, another issue which was discussed during the meeting concerned the legal obstacles faced by the project partners to support the financial plan of the tender with public funds, in order to increase the economic sustainability of the initiative, which for sure would have promote a wider participation from ESCOs and facilitate the bankability of the projects.
As registered during the meeting, at national level there is
a general lack of public financial instruments (primarily guarantee funds) to support the ESCo market.
EnerSHIFT tried to overcome this obstacle by proposing alternative measures aimed at encouraging the bankability of the project (such as the possibility of transferring credit to banks, the establishment of a Memorandum of Understanding with Credit Institution…), which was well received by the Banking operators attending the meeting; this provided, the positive approach of the market operators towards the EnerSHIFT initiative was a well-wishing feedback for the tender outcomes.