Energy Performance Contracting (IEA DSM Implementing Agreement - Task X)

The objective of this task within the IEA DSM programme is to facilitate the use of performance contracts and other energy service company (ESCO) contracts. In this scenario, the ESCO has taken on the project's performance risk by guaranteeing a specified level of energy savings. Its compensation for this risk is directly tied to achieving savings. The financing for such a project could come from the ESCO, the equipment supplier or a third-party company.

Short Description




Reasons why a property owner may enter into a performance contract vary. It could be a financial reason - a property owner may lack the money to invest in new equipment. It could be a business strategy - a property owner only wants to pay for the equipment once the value-added functions, such as reduced energy bills, are demonstrated. For an ESCO, the motivation could be that it provides another way to connect with customers and initiate new business relations. For some companies and government organisations, performance contracts can be used to inspire innovations and encourage the use of more energy efficient equipment.

Projects performed give examples of energy savings in buildings by 20 to 40 per cent. Estimates indicate that the market in some countries could be up to ten times larger than at present. Greater use of these mechanisms could substantially contribute to lowering emissions of greenhouse gases and reducing the risks of a climate change.

Ten countries have participated in Task X during its duration between 2001 and 2004: Austria, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United States. Austria is represented by Graz Energy Agency.

Together with the Operating Agent, the countries have identified problems and opportunities and have suggested a number of concrete actions in order to facilitate the greater use of energy performance contracting and related mechanisms. The most important actions are: raising the general credibility of EPC through aimed information, demonstration projects, accreditation of ESCOs, special performance guarantees and process and procurement guidelines.

The results are available through a series of reports: a summary report, a final management report, country reports of the participating countries and the documentation of the workshops accompanied with additional valuable material.

During 2003-2004 the countries have together with the Operating Agent organised three international Workshops on important topics (one in Austria). Information about the Task has been given at international and regional energy conferences during the whole duration of Task X.

In addition to that, two national workshops were organised by the Austrian project partner Graz Energy Agency for national stakeholders and target groups. Various information and dissemination activities were carried out and the project results were presented at different occasions and within the networks with ESCOs (Thermoprofit partners) and energy agencies.

Austria is seen, together with Germany, as the pioneer countries in EPC in Europe. Through participating in this collaborative project in the framework of the IEA, the strong Austrian competences in the area of EPC could be linked also beyond the European borders. The experts, ESCOs, energy agencies, consultants, representatives from public bodies etc. could benefit from the experiences of other national and international activities. This will lead to a more effective design of the initiation and preparation phase, to a further development of EPC and to policy instruments in order to stimulate the market for EPC.

Project Partners

Project management

DI Boris Papousek, Grazer Energieagentur Ges.m.b.H.

Contact Address

Grazer Energieagentur Ges.m.b.H. / Graz Energy Agency
Kaiserfeldgasse 13/I, 8010 Graz, Austria
Phone: + 43-316-811848
Fax: + 43-316-811848-9