The Energy Performance Contracting project (EPC) in Elverum municipality was initiated by an intermunicipal project called “Energy efficiency in municipal building in Sør-Østerdal” consisting of 5 municipalities in Hedmark County aiming to reach new and challenging municipal energy- and climate targets. Elverum was the largest of the five and started the EPC project ahead of the four others to gain experience and make it easier for the four smaller municipalities to follow suit.
Elverum implemented more than 300 energy efficiency measures in 38 municipal buildings. They have also reached the guaranteed savings so far. The municipal project leader is positive to the EPC concept and claim that neither the large amount of energy saving measures, the guaranteed savings nor reaching the municipal energy- and climate targets would have been possible without EPC.
The main goal of the EPC project in Elverum municipality is cost and energy saving, increased comfort and renewal of technical equipment and systems using energy performance contracting as a tool. The contract-based guarantee was perceived as important or even crucial in the decision-making process.
The contract was made between Elverum municipality, the customer and the Siemens, the EPC provider in 2012. Both tender, negotiations and the contract agreements were facilitated by an EPC consultant (Siv. Ing. Kjell Gurigard AS).
The Energy Performance Contracting project (EPC) in Elverum municipality was initiated in 2009 by an intermunicipal project called “Energy efficiency in municipal building in Sør-Østerdal” consisting of 5 municipalities in Hedmark County. These were aiming to reach new and challenging municipal energy- and climate targets. Elverum was the largest of the five with its 21 000 inhabitants, 160 000 m2 of building mass. The cooperation partners decided that Elverum should start ahead of the four others to gain experience and make it easier for the four smaller municipalities to follow suit. The cooperating parties also got support via an international project called “ENSAMB” focusing on Energy Saving in Municipal Buildings in Small Communities in Rural Districts.
Experiences and results
One of the most important success factors was the fact that the contract covered all 300 measures that was implemented in a relatively short time period. The municipality invested 40 MNOK in 38 buildings, 95 000 m2 with an estimated saving of 4,3 GWh with a payback time of 9 years. The contracted guarantee ensures little risk for the municipality and safeguarded the investment. They reported large energy- and costs savings from day one and increased standard on technical equipment and systems. Some of the measures also reduced the need for planned maintenance and hence freed budgeted funds. A more unexpected advantage was the increased competence on energy efficiency and own technical equipment and installations by own municipal personnel. This came because of the involvement in the project and training given by the EPC supplier.
The main challenges were having enough resources for the follow up and involvement in the project in the municipality – both in the energy analyses phase and during implementation of measures. Own involvement and ownership were a success factor, but it proved to be more time consuming than first anticipated. -We would recommend municipalities considering EPC to allocate enough personnel and resources in all phases, Svein Arild Nyhus says, as the internal ownership of the project is paramount. -Furthermore, the EPC supplier had their main focus on energy saving and the municipality hence had to make sure that implemented measures also had users of the buildings and maintenance personnel in mind, he continues.
Now, five years into the guarantee period there are still some confusions due to maintenance agreements and operational issues with heat pump installations, but the municipality expect to find solutions and come to mutually beneficial agreements in a dialog with the EPC supplier. Energy savings have been achieved and the municipal energy- and climate targets have been met. Due to motivated operation personnel and close dialog with the EPC supplier they expect the positive results to continue in the years to come.
The project leader in the municipality, Svein Arild Nyhus, hopes the experiences made in Elverum can be of help for other municipalities considering EPC.
“To other municipalities I will say; Go for it! Stop contemplating and pondering. Large municipalities might have the recourses to do a lot by themselves, but the guarantee is the alpha and omega for smaller municipalities. We implemented almost 300 EE measures in Elverum. We would not have had the resources for this without EPC.”
Photo: Svein Arild Nyhus, Elverum municipality
Case EPC in Elverum municipality – in short
Target: 20 % energy savings compared to previous consumption
Achieved savings: 24 % energy savings compared to previous consumption
Project partners: Elverum municipality and Siemens AS
Duration: 2012 – 2023
Planed outcome: Energy saving, cost and energy efficiency, increased comfort and renewal of technical equipment and systems.
Text author: Liv Randi Lindseth, EFFECT4buildings project expert in Hedmark County council, Norway.
EFFECT4buildings is implemented with the support from the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Program 2014-2020 (European Regional Development Fund) and Norwegian national funding. The aim of the project is to improve the capacity of public building managers in the Baltic Sea Region by providing a comprehensive decision-making support toolbox with a set of financial instruments to unlock the investments and lower the risks of implementing energy efficiency measures in buildings owned by public stakeholders. For more information: https://www.effect4buildings.se