|TYPES OF EPC CONTRACT AND EPC MARKET IN THE SOUTHERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES|
In Portugal there aren’t important EPC Contracts already signed between municipalities and ESCO.
Traditionally, most frequent contracts were the supply contracting and BOOT contracts, mainly in the CHP sector in large industries and large hospitals, particularly through the establishing of public-private partnerships, hotels, schools, swimming pools and shopping centres.
In the more recent years, following the political will to promote energy services in Portugal, the establishment of EPCs is gaining popularity, and the market for EPCs is emerging slowly, mainly in hotels, hospitals, leisure centre sports, schools and public buildings, but also contracts with industry. The EPC model can either be a shared savings model or a guaranteed savings model according to the survey (October 2013), and the clients can be public or private business.
The EES market is more developed in the industrial sector, particularly co-generation projects in large industries, and in large hospitals. ESCO Projects can also be found in hotels and large shopping centres with EESs available for lighting and for co-generation. Some new energy efficiency services appeared in the market in recent years, especially in the area of lighting (public lighting and buildings), renewable energies and HVAC, but these are still in an early stage of development.
According to the survey carried out by the Transparense project, over the last 3 years the market for EPCs saw a little change for 40% of respondents, a slight growth for 50%, a major growth for 1% and a major decline for another 1%. Concerning the number of ESCOS currently active in the market, responses were highly heterogeneous, ranging from 4 to 50 ESCOs! This wide range variation in the replies can be related to the number of ESCOS with capacity to offer energy services that are registered and qualified to participate in the ECO.AP tender, which is around 40, and also with the number of ESCOs that are indeed establishing EPCs.
According to the official database established by the Directorate General of Energy, the pool of contractors is more than 100 ESCOs, but not all received the accreditation to participate in the Public tender (to foster market confidence, a qualification framework for ESCOs has been introduced with the Eco.AP; there is an approval system with strict financial and technical benchmarking; there are two different layers of projects, with different requisites to accommodate small and larger ESCOs, but all have the technical and financial structure to make long term energy performance contracts) and others have already given up due to the long time that is taking to put the programme running properly.The ECO.AP programme has been launched for almost three years, and no EPC has been established yet. Currently, the number of ESCOs that actually are operating in the market is much lower, and is estimated to be 15-20, mainly Utilities, international ESCOs and International sister companies (equipment providers and big consultancy companies).