€20 million for energy efficiency ESCo consultants in Flanders

Summary

The government’s PMV holding company will invest €20 million in ESCos to help local businesses become more energy efficient

‘Win-win all down the line’

PMV, the government of Flanders’ holding company, has announced an investment of €20 million over the next five years in Energy Service Companies, known as ESCos. These kind of companies help other businesses to achieve energy efficiency and cut spending.

The decision was reached after consultation with energy minister Bart Tommelein and economy minister Philippe Muyters. Businesses in Flanders are still investing too little in energy-saving measures, according to the ministers, despite the savings opportunities available.

In a joint statement, they attributed this to “a lack of expertise and a shortage of time and resources for investments outside the core business”. An ESCo has the expertise and can take on the job of evaluating the opportunities.

“Esco companies can, as third parties, take over the whole energy investment, from conception to financing, realisation and maintenance following installation,” the ministers said. “They can take care of energy-saving interventions such as the replacement of lighting, better adjustments to heating or the installation of solar panels. The host companies can pay for their services with the money saved.”

The participation of the PMV is expected to trigger additional investment from banks and private concerns of up to €150 million. “PMV is setting up an innovative form of financing,” Tommelein said. “ESCo companies will be strengthened, businesses will feel the difference in their bank accounts, and the climate will benefit. A win-win situation all down the line.”

Photo: Businesses from retail to warehousing can save substantially with the right lighting

Sustainable energy

The five main renewable energy sources in Flanders are biomass, biogas, wind energy, solar energy and water power. The renewable energy sector has grown sharply in recent years, with wind and solar energy production especially on the rise.
Agency - The Flemish Energy Agency is responsible for implementing the government’s sustainable energy policies. Its central tasks are to promote rational energy use and environmentally friendly energy production.
Green energy certificates - One of the principal measures to promote sustainable energy are the certificates the Flemish energy regulator (Vreg) awards for electricity generated by renewable energy sources. Since the regulations were tightened in 2012, investments in renewable energy installations have declined.
Obstacles - According to the Flemish Energy Agency, the main challenges in local renewable energy production are the region’s short coast, limited height differences and direct sunlight, and high population density.
11

new wind turbines created in Flanders in 2013

6 030

million kilowattage of green energy in 2012

6

percentage of green energy used in Flanders in 2012