Contracting Platform for SME´s
Environmental projects with public funding (e.g. "Ökoprofit" and "ÖkoBonus" in the framework of the ÖkoBusinessPlan in Vienna) have shown that ample potential for energy efficiency measures can be identified and realised in SMEs. However, in many cases the undertakings refrain from taking measures for lack of time, lack of experience and competence in implementation as well as overly high costs of financing. Frequently, these measures account for the greatest part of the total potential in an enterprise.
To make energy efficiency measures attractive for organisations in spite of the investment costs involved, which are sometimes prohibitively high, authorities at the federal as well as the provincial and municipal levels launched numerous contracting initiatives in the past few years. There is a large number of examples to illustrate energy performance contracting in the field of public and private services. However, this type of energy-related service has yet to gain more popularity among SMEs.
The project aimed at developing a concept for a contracting platform whose target group is small and medium-sized enterprises.
The Contracting Platform is to be used for capturing energy efficiency measures which were identified in the course of publicly funded energy and environmental consultancy visits, but never implemented for various reasons; these measures are stored in a central database with the approval of the companies concerned. Contractors and external energy service providers are to be given access to the information about non-implemented projects in the database and can contribute actively to their implementation. Moreover, projects can be identified from the data according to certain criteria via the platform itself.
The study led to the drawing up of the required framework conditions and the measures needed for the launch of the platform so as to prepare the ground for the implementation of the platform and pilot projects.
The result of the study is that on the one hand, there is major interest in such a Contracting Platform on the part of the target groups, and that on the other hand, the project is practically feasible and offers a potential for projects that is interesting for the target groups. The Vienna Municipal Department for Environmental Matters (MA 22) seeks to run a pilot version of the platform for the Vienna area under the ÖkobusinessPlan Vienna in 2006.
Based on the project outcome and the fact that the form of financing is not relevant for the higher goal of the underlying idea of the platform (making it more likely that energy efficiency measures will be put in place, increased energy efficiency, reduced emissions), the platform should also support other forms of implementation in addition to contracting (guarantee models, conventional realisation by external energy service providers). This would lead to a higher number of projects that can be translated into reality and expand the range of suppliers using the platform. When choosing a name for the platform in the course of practical implementation, this should be borne in mind.
Likewise, it would make sense to expand the target group to larger enterprises, in particular because the sets of data in the database also include information about measures in these undertakings.
iC Consulenten Ziviltechniker GmbH (Werkvertragspartner)
Österreichische Gesellschaft für Umwelt und Technik (ÖGUT) (Werkvertragspartner)
DENKSTATT Umweltberatung und -management GmbH (Werkvertragspartner)