Transparense success stories
European EPC markets overview conducted
The Transparense market overview consisted of an online database of European EPC markets, built using the responses to two EU-wide surveys conducted in 2013 and 2015; and two series of national and EU-wide reports on EPC markets. Both these deliverables were achieved successfully, but the latter in particular proved to be very well received by the markets.
Two series of national reports were created: one focusing on the barriers and success factors for EPCs, and one developing recommendations for action based on these findings. Both types of reports were also summarised into EU-wide reports, which compiled the findings of national reports while highlighting trends and common characteristics between countries or groups of countries (beginners, intermediate or advanced).
Throughout the course of the project, it became obvious that the reports (national as well as EU-wide) were of interest to the European stakeholders, as many Tranpsarense partners reported being often asked about the reports and engaging in conversations about their findings with both end-clients and EPC providers. As the reports were written fairly early in the project, they became a great way to attract stakeholders to the Transparense project and to increase interest in EPC business. In the end, the success of these reports in generating interest amongst national stakeholders is reflected in the number of downloads for these series of reports: throughout Europe, these documents were downloaded over 5,600 times. Over 2,100 printed versions of the reports were also distributed to interested parties during trainings, seminars and workshops in Europe. Overall, more than 7,700 copies of these reports have found their way into the general public, way beyond the initial project target of 2,000 copies. This will have undoubtedly contributed greatly to the success of the project, by raising the stakeholders' awareness to EPC and educating them with regards to their own national EPC market.
More than 1600 EPC market players trained
The ultimate goal of the training seminars organised by Transparense partners was to support the supply side in keeping pace with market developments while continuing to offer high-quality services. Through the seminars, attendees were informed from different viewpoints not only about the Energy Performance Contracting concept, but also about more specific aspects, such as financing issues, legal matters or technical details. The trainings also served as a platform for discussion about the European Code of Conduct for EPC and provided stakeholders with an important means of promotion.
In total 70 training seminars were organised in the course of the project, attracting 1611 participants (more than twice as many as initially planned), leading to a substantially greater information impact.
The training seminars were originally planned to primarily target ESCOs, but during the project it turned out to be more useful to widen the target group and invite not only ESCOs, but also clients, facilitators, policymakers, etc. As a consequence, they could complement each other and thus provide a more comprehensive understanding of the EPC concept.
The seminars were tailored to the particular level of EPC market development and the current needs of the stakeholders. At the beginning of the Transparense project, a set of training modules were developed focusing on EPC basics, EPC process, financial and strategic aspects. The modules were developed in such a way as to be easily used by stakeholders for their follow-up activities. In 2015, the training modules were updated and distributed to the market players.
To gain feedback, an evaluation sheet was distributed to the participants at each training seminar. The participants evaluated the seminars very positively, with the overwhelming majority of attendees saying they were useful for gaining insight into the EPC concept and helpful for preparing an EPC contract and implementing projects. The information provided was in general found to be exhaustive and the speakers were praised for their experience. One of the most successful aspects in the trainings turned out to be the interaction between speakers and trainees and between speakers themselves. The exchange of views and know-how contributed to a more comprehensive learning environment.
European EPC industry will ensure sustainability of the Code of Conduct for EPC
The aim of the Transparense project was to create Code of Conduct defining the basic values and principles that are considered fundamental for the successful preparation and implementation of EPC projects. Its main role was to bring confidence to the EPC markets in Europe, taking into account its variety across the countries. Compliance with the Code of Conduct would serve as a minimum set of quality requirements of implemented EPC projects. At the beginning of the Transparense project, it sounded almost like a mission impossible to convince EPC providers across Europe to contribute to development of and adopt one common Eureopan Code of Conduct for EPC. At the time there was no widely accepted agreement on what EPC is except of the general definition by the EED.
However, the European Code of Conduct for Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) has been developed in cooperation with EPC providers and their associations, clients, facilitators and policy makers and launched in 2014. It was generally welcomed by market players in all 20 European countries participating in the Transparense project. By the end of September 2015, the Code of Conduct had more than 200 signatories across Europe (136 EPC providers, 14 national associations and two European associations of ESCOs, 54 facilitators and other signatories).
The Code of Conduct underwent a two-year stakeholder process to ensure that market players accept its principles. It has been discussed at 40 national workshops, where feedback has been collected and reflected in the final wording of the principles of the Code. Moreover, 20 business facilitation seminars for EPC providers and their clients explained the principles of the Code and how they can be implemented in a best practice project. The Code of Conduct was endorsed by the European Association of Energy Service Companies (eu.ESCO) and the European Federation of Intelligent Energy Efficiency Services (EFIEES). Although the Transparense project has been completed in September 2015, the two European associations continue administering and maintaining the Code of Conduct. Thus the European EPC industry itself will ensure the sustainability of the Code administration and its further custody.
"The main role of the European Code of Conduct for EPC is to bring confidence to the EPC market in the EU, taking into account its variety across Member States," Valérie Plainemaison, Secretary General of EFIEES, European Code Co-administrator
"It is a positive sign towards the market and a resilient foundation for long-term business development," Voker Dragon, managing director of eu.esco, European Code Co-administrator
Until September 2015, national Code administrators have already been identified in 20 Transparense countries and Romania. These are 11 ESCO associations as well as also other governmental and non-governmental organisations influencing the EPC market. National administrators administer the Code of Conduct according to common procedures and maintain national lists of the signatories online.
The European Code of Conduct received a wide interest from the professional audience with 6,200 downloads of the Code of Conduct by the end of September 2015. The Code has been also presented at the two ESCO Europe 2015 Conferences in Milano and Vienna.
The Code has vast potential to support EPC market development, which can be exploited, for example as discussion guideline between client and EPC provider, guidance for preparation of tender dossiers and contracts, marketing tool and foundation for EPC quality assurance scheme.
Broad audience targeted by ambitious dissemination activities
Key part of the Transparense project was the know-how transfer and capacity building which was highly supported by the dissemination of its results. The regularly updated websites (D6.2) have been important for disseminating, marketing and promoting the results of the project to a broader public. The website has had almost 100 000 visits since its launch in 2013, out of which more than half was reached in the last year of the project (50,750). Examples of other downloads from the website includes over 3,696 downloaded newsletters and 6,200 downloads of the Code of Conduct in various languages. Over 2 million potential readers have been reached by 295 media articles generated through the dissemination activities of the Transparense project. The articles were mainly a result of 4 international and 54 national press releases published by the Transparense partners in at least 20 different countries. Some of the articles have been prepared for specific journals and provided more in-depth analyses.
A video to promote the European Code of Conduct for Energy Performance Contracting has been produced including subtitles in the languages of the Transparense project countries. The video explains the Code of Conduct in an educational manner and includes interviews with several stakeholders of main importance for the sustainability of the Code of Conduct after the project is ended. For example, both the ESCO organisations eu.ESCO and EFIEES are interviewed.