On the 23rd November 2017, EFIEES held its members’ meeting in Rome, hosted by its Italian member, AssoESCo. The association published a press release on its website.
“Energy Performance Contracts: a fundamental tool to enhance energy efficiency”: one of the main messages of EFIEES’ meeting in Rome, hosted by its Italian member-association, AssoESCo.
Among the several topics on the agenda of the meeting, gathering the national representatives of Energy Service Companies from all across Europe, a critical issue addressed was that of Energy Performance Contracts (EPCs). In particular, during a fruitful “tour de table” participants provided an overview of the current state of EPCs’ markets in their respective countries, allowing for an exchange on best practices to trigger their further development, as well as on common challenges still existing in this area. EFIEES’ President, Bernard Thomas, emphasised the potential of EPCs, stressing that they are a key element to cost-effectively meet the EU energy efficiency targets, currently under discussion through the legislative revision triggered by the Clean Energy Package, and to ensure that energy services have an important role to play.
Another critical issue regarding EPCs and addressed during the discussion, was the new Eurostat guidance note for the recording of EPCs in public authorities’ accounts, issued on the 19th September 2017. In the course of the meeting, it was particularly underlined how the new guidance note – to be complemented by a practitioners’ guidance by the end of the year/beginning of 2018 – would facilitate the deployment of energy performance contracts in the public sector, by increasing and clarifying the circumstances in which such contracts can be recorded off government balance sheets.
The second part of the meeting was mainly focused on the policies and measures put in place to enhance energy efficiency in the country hosting the convention, Italy. “AssoESCo – said Bernard Thomas – is making considerable efforts in order to promote the role of ESCOs and EPCs in Italy; however, the path is long and much remains to be done, here as well as in other European countries”.
An up-to-date overview of the currently available instruments that the Italian Government has set up to enable the achievement of its energy efficiency and consumption-reduction targets, was provided by Mauro Mallone (Head of Unit Energy Efficiency at the Italian Ministry of Economic Development), just a few days after the adoption of the Italian Energy Strategy (Strategia Energetica Nazionale, SEN), in early November. In a 2030 perspective, Italy’s main goal in this field will be to meet its CO2 emission reduction target in the non-ETS sectors, notably in the areas of transport and buildings. In this respect, Mr Mallone underlined the crucial role of White Certificates, described as the main instrument that Italy has put in place to achieve significant savings in terms of Toe. Nevertheless, he added that this mechanism, although highly performant, still needs to be adjusted and further improved. Lastly, Mr Mallone confirmed the forthcoming adoption of a long-awaited National Energy Efficiency Fund, expected to become operational by the end of the year.
AssoESCo’s President, Roberto Olivieri, welcomed the Ministry’s intention to improve the White Certificates mechanism, which is seen as an exemplary tool to push for energy efficiency by an increasing number of European countries. Furthermore, he confirmed AssoESCo’s readiness to engage in an open dialogue with the Italian Government and all relevant Institutions, to further improve this highly-effective instrument.
The event, hosted by AssoESCo and by the Energy Efficiency Campus of Turin, cultural hub committed – among other things – to the training and exchange of operative know-how among energy service professionals, was attended by the delegates of EFIEES, representing energy efficiency service companies and related associations across Europe. As representatives of EFIEES’ Italian association, in addition to the President, Mr Olivieri, also the two Vice Presidents were present, Riccardo Ghidella and Antonio Ciccarelli.