Lack of adapted funding is a major barrier to the energy retrofitting of social housing in Europe. Funding could be found through the Energy Performance Contracts (EPC), in which an Energy Service Company (ESCO) invests in a comprehensive refurbishment (building insulation and renovation of the heating systems), and repays itself through the generated savings. EPCs have not been used until now in social housing because of the absence of visibility on the business model, although the market is well identified.
In the FRESH project, social housing operators and ESCOs from France, United Kingdom, Italy and Bulgaria propose to address energy performance contracting in social housing aiming at comprehensive refurbishment. The objective is to pave the way and demonstrate to social housing operators that EPC can be used for low energy refurbishment on a large scale.
Four pilot sites have been identified: FRESH will work out the technical and monitoring measures, along with the many contractual, legal and financial issues of EPC. The results will be monitored on the long run and dissemination activities will raise awareness about the opportunities but also pitfalls lying in EPC for comprehensive refurbishment programmes.
The expected results from the project are:
Tested implementation of energy performance contracts for comprehensive refurbishments in the social housing sector in France, UK, Italy and Bulgaria.
Concrete tools which social housing organisations and energy service companies can use to implement energy performance contracts.
Informed stakeholders and professional branches at national and European level, involved continuously throughout the project.
Example of a comprehensive refurbishment operation