Fedesco was created in 2005 as a public ESCO to study and implement energy efficiency projects in 1.800 Belgian federal public buildings, of which about 2/3 is owned by the Belgian federal state and 1/3 is being rented from private building owners. The company started with a capital of 1,5 million €, later extended to 6,5 million €. At its creation, Fedesco had a financing capacity as third party investor of 5 million €, quickly increased to 10 million € and (in 2009) to 100 million €. As from 2007, Fedesco was given an exclusive right to work for the federal administrations. A strong collaboration was initiated with the federal Building Agency that acts as building owner and manager.
As from 2007 Fedesco first implemented a “separate contractor” based model, implementing so-called “transversal measures” with a strong focus on HVAC (mainly boiler replacement and boiler room renovation), HVAC regulation, relamping and relighting, co-generation and roof insulation. Fedesco thus acted as an “integrator” to become one of the first public ESCOs in Europe. Additionally, Fedesco launched a campaign for behaviour change targeting building occupants. In 2008, the government gave Fedesco a secondary mission to install PV solar panels on roofs of certain buildings and to negotiate concessions with private installers of PV solar panels on other buildings, for a budget of 1,5 million €.
From 2005 to 2014, Fedesco invested 27,4 million € using the separate contractor based model, including 2 million € in studies and engineering.
From 2011, Fedesco started implementing an alternative parallel model, using EPC contracting, using an innovative methodology called smartEPC, co-developed with a private facilitator (Energinvest). SmartEPC is effectively a model for Maintenance, Energy and Comfort Performance Contracting. The difference between smartEPC and more traditional EPC, is the fact that the contract also includes a full maintenance of all the technical installations in the building and that this maintenance is performance-based. It uses the Dutch standard for “condition scoring”, called NEN2767. SmartEPC also uses a performance based methodology for measuring the “comfort” in the building, as perceived by the occupants, that uses comfort surveys of those occupants. Finally, smartEPC uses a whole array of tools and a streamlined process to manage the “facilitation” of the project. A first pilot project was initiated, for 13 federal public buildings that are rented from a private real estate company, for an investment of 1,4 million €. In 2014, a second project was initiated in 9 other federal public buildings. For these smartEPC projects, Fedesco acts as facilitator, with the Building Agency as public tendering body.
In 2011, Fedesco created a “Knowledgecenter” department to provide EPC facilitation services to non-federal public authorities, i.e. regions, provinces, cities and municipalities. Fedesco tendered for several consecutive framework contracts to be assisted by a private EPC facilitator. Several EPC projects were initiated (e.g. Province of Walloon Brabant, GRE Liège…).
In 2015, Fedesco was integrated into the Building Agency.