“SPL OSER” (Société Publique Locale Efficacité Energétique Opérateur de Services Energétiques Régional), a Publicly owned Local Limited Company (PLLC), was created at the end of 2012 to assist local and regional authorities in the region of Rhône-Alpes in meeting the challenges of energy transition through the realisation of deep energy retrofit projects. OSER stands for “Regional Energy Services Operator” and its mayor role is to act as a Public ESCO (Energy Services Company) for its public shareholders within the Rhône-Alpes region. Its founding partners, the Region of Rhône-Alpes, 9 municipalities and the inter-municipality SIEL, created the SPL as an answer to the then very weak demand for deep energy retrofit investments and the quasi-absence of comprehensive retrofit solutions offering. They were convinced that energy efficiency requirements on new construction only would not suffice to decrease the ambitious CO2 emission reduction targets and that the public authorities had to play a leadership role in the roll-out of deep energy retrofit projects, in order to boost a dynamic of energy retrofit.
The programme’s ambition is to invest around 78M€ and reach for every retrofitted building the French Low Energy Consumption standard BBC (Batiment Basse Consommation) of 80kWh/m²/year, achieve significant cuts in energy consumption ranging from 40% to 75%, boost the regional economy and create jobs through retrofitting.
The SPL went operational at the end of 2014 with the signature of the first project with Ville de Bourg-en-Bresse related to the retrofit of the school buildings of 3 school groups. Currently it has launched 10 projects with a total investment value of 31M€ and it has 7 other projects in feasibility phase.
Municipalities, local and regional authorities wanting to apply for the services of SPL OSER in order to perform feasibility studies, or to execute or implement their retrofit or renovation programme need first to become shareholder of the SPL, provided that they adhere to the by-laws and to the shareholders charter. Their contribution to the equity is 1€ per inhabitant.
The beneficiaries can basically choose between two approaches to carry out their retrofit energy programme or investments:
Funding of the investments under an EPC-approach is being secured through equity of OSER (about 10%) and 90% of the funding is being secured with regional, national and European financial institutions:
Region of Rhône-Alpes: main political initiator and majority shareholder of SPL OSER (88%),
SPL OSER: provides staff, procedures, tools and services for the program. Offers the program delivery unit services: marketer, project facilitation, projects integration, financial advice and 3rd party financier.
Local partner banks: Caisse des Dépôts, Bpifrance
European Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF): Is an innovative public-private partnership dedicated to mitigating climate change through energy efficiency measures and the use of renewable energy in the member states of the European Union. It focuses on financing energy efficiency, small-scale renewable energy, and clean urban transport projects (at market rates) targeting municipal, local and regional authorities and public and private entities acting on behalf of those authorities.
European Investment Bank (EIB) through Caisse d’Epargne Rhône-Alpes: The EIB is the European Union's bank, owned by and representing the interests of the European Union Member States. It works closely with other EU institutions to implement EU policy. EIB provides finance and expertise for sound and sustainable investment projects which contribute to furthering EU policy objectives.
Local and regional authorities
SPL OSER is the program delivery vehicle of the energy retrofit investments of its local public shareholders in the Region of Rhône-Alpes. It acts as marketer, facilitator, integrator, financial advisor and financier for the beneficiaries, though the service delivery perimeter is by law limited to its (public) shareholders within the territory of Rhône-Alpes.
It actually operates partly as a provider of services and expertise, and also as a third party investor in energy efficiency projects for local and regional public buildings, thus having all characteristics of a public ESCO.
It has basically three objectives:
Projects need to be presented to OSER’s "Investment Committee" (15 members) and are formally approved by the board of Director (which takes decisions).
Currently 10 projects are being implemented for 4 Shareholder-Beneficiaries with a global investment amount of 31M €. Investment amounts range from 0,9M€ to over 6,0M€ and energy savings range from 40% to 70%. Furthermore, SPL OSER has 7 projects in feasibility or preliminary assessment phase.
Since the foundation of SPL OSER by the 11 initial public authorities 2 local authorities have joined as shareholders and 2 other local authorities are in the process of joining.
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