Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) is a concept according
to which the building owner hires a company to realise energy-efficiency
measures from their own financial resources, with their payment coming from
actual energy savings. In the Czech Republic, the EPC concept is put into
effect by a non-profit organisation, KSUE, which assists energy consumers
through advisory and educational activities in the field of energy savings and
In Litvinov, the KSUE signed a seven-year contract with the
municipal authorities that includes:
- Auditing of the basic school
- Central regulation of the school heating system
- Installation of thermostatic valves
- Measurement of heat supply
- Installation of water-saving taps
- Regular monitoring of consumption
- Education of local servicemen
- Re-negotiation of contracts with the heat supplier
- Regular maintenance of all equipment
As this was one of first EPC projects in the Czech Republic,
it presented special challenges. KSUE did not have to deal only with technical
components of the project; in addition, it also had to explain all aspects of
the EPC system and the specific project to the municipal and school officials,
e.g., development of a contract that would satisfy the special requirements of
legislation for municipalities. There was a certain amount of scepticism about
this new system of financing energy consumption.
It is important to the success of the project that thorough
monitoring of energy use continue. The town has tended to underestimate the
importance of regular monitoring of energy consumption, meaning that expected
energy savings are not always achieved.
As the municipality partly owns the energy supply company,
there is a very little financial incentive to reduce energy consumption.
Therefore, the major impetus behind the project was not the financial benefits
from saving energy but the fear that overconsumption of energy at the school
would project a negative image.