The Czech-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank (ČMZRB), the national promotional bank of the Czech Republic, promotes economic and social development by offering advantageous financial products in various sectors.
As part of its mandate, ČMZRB asked the Advisory Hub to undertake a feasibility study on a potential investment platform dedicated to energy efficiency projects in the building sector. The projects would be mainly based on the model of Energy Performance Contracts (EPCs). EPCs are contractual arrangements between building owners and an energy service company that invests in energy efficiency measures and guarantees energy savings over the duration of the contract. Under Eurostat’s revised statistical treatment of EPCs in 2017, EPCs may be recorded off the public authorities’ balance sheet.
The value of EPCs in unlocking the energy saving potential in the market is recognised by various EU directives and European initiatives.
EPC projects have been undertaken in the Czech Republic for over 25 years. However, the market is still constrained by a number of market barriers, such as lack of awareness and trust of the public authorities, insufficient promoter capacity and challenging access to finance for EPC providers.The Advisory Hub helped to:
- analyse these market barriers and assess the market gaps in terms of investment needs;
- identify projects for a potential investment platform;
- define an appropriate structure and investment strategy for the platform;
- explore the possibilities to combine different sources of funding, such as European Structural and Investment Funds, and finance backed by the European Fund for Strategic Investments
- set up new standardised EPC templates, compliant with the new Eurostat guidance.
The Advisory Hub mobilised the expertise relevant for the assignment and established a working group dedicated to EPCs, bringing together representatives of different public and private stakeholders. This proved to be a successful model of cooperation.
The advisory assignment, expected to be completed in early 2020, aims to increase energy efficiency investments in the Czech Republic and therefore help the country achieve its targets for energy efficiency and reduction of CO2 emissions.