ESCOLIMBURG2020 (Infrax ESCO)
ESCOLIMBURG2020 is a joint project of the Province of Limburg, Infrax (the provincial energy grid operator) and Dubolimburg, a provincial consultancy institute specialized in sustainable buildings. ESCO Limburg 2020 aims to accelerate the energy renovation of municipal properties in order to reach faster the Near Zero Energy (NZE) standard in the Province and to contribute to the achievement of the Province and 44 Municipalities’ climate objectives.
Through the involvement of Infrax’s existing public Energy Service Company (ESCO), created in 2010, a package of energy services to enhance the energy efficiency of buildings is offered to Limburg municipalities, which include free services (telemetry and monitoring, a feasibility study and an energy register for the properties) as well as a series of consulting services (including dynamic simulations and measurement campaigns), and eventually a fully implemented project. The ESCOLIMBURG2020 project aims to support, optimise and expand these ESCO activities. Proposed interventions can regard all aspects of energy consumption: heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, renewable energy, insulation, and they are characterized by high ambitions (savings > 30%, average 40%). The ESCO identifies the most optimal solution for the building, taking into account payback periods, available budgets and the requirements and needs of the administration.
To help local authorities gain an insight into their energy consumption, ESCOLIMBURG2020 provides – via Dubolimburg and during the course of personal discussions with policy makers – a Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) for the various municipalities in Limburg. This report contains figures that are suitable for use for the follow-up measurement under the Covenant of Mayors. With the help of this follow-up measurement, the municipality can view, assess and verify CO2 emissions within its territory in relation to the impact of actions based on the municipal climate action plan.
The ESCO division of Infrax acts as the programme delivery unit for the ESCOLIMBURG2020 programme.
ESCOLIMBURG2020 is supported by the Intelligent Energy Europe programme through the MLEI-PDA assistance (Mobilizing Local Energy Investments). In 3 years the project is expected to mobilize EUR 19.8 million investments in sustainable energy.
Financing of energy renovation measures is a key aspect of the project. Municipalities can choose a pre-financing by the Infrax ESCO, in which the investment is repaid through savings in energy costs, or an own financing or bank loan via Infrax. ESCOLIMBURG2020 can also identify other possible financing options and techniques through a financial study, e.g. leasing, investment support, grants, or also the Limburg Climate Fund, which is supported by citizens and businesses. The Limburg Climate Fund (Limburgs Klimaatfonds) is a cooperative capital fund created on January 30, 2012 by the LRM investment fund, the Limburg climate company NUHMA and the cooperative company LIMCOOP, to invest in climate friendly projects. Both citizens, organisations and companies can by shares, that are used to provide loans to project developers. The profits from the fund are redistributed to the fund’s shareholders. The goal is to provide a return of 1% above the one of a classical savings account.