ESCO ACCREDITATION: A GUARANTEE OF QUALITY FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY

sustainability
EU leaders started to define climate and energy targets in 2007. In 2010, they established the Europe 2020 strategy for smart and sustainable growth.
The strategy aims at:
  • reducing greenhouse gas emissions (Directive 2009/29/EC)
  • increasing energy from renewables (Directive 2009/28/EC)
  • improving energy efficiency (Directive 2012/27/EC)
Today, reducing energy consumption and managing energy use more efficiently are unavoidable actions contributing to sustainable human activities, because they allow to preserve raw materials and reduce emissions.
Community and national regulations expect Energy Services Companies or ESCOs to play a crucial role in the achievement of these goals, the reason being that any organisation that chooses to use the services of an ESCO is bound to improve its energy efficiency. SITE was accredited as an ESCO in compliance with the UNI CEI 11352:2014 standard in July 2016.

But what exactly is an ESCO?
ESCOs are specialised companies that:
  • find the financial resources required
  • perform the energy audit, feasibility study and design
  • implement the project
  • manage maintenance and operation after implementation
When necessary, ESCOs use TPF (third-party financing) to finance the project.
Under this option, ESCOs offer their services - audit, project, energy efficiency activities and post-implementation energy management - at no cost to the public or private customer. They sign a special agreement with the customer whereby their compensation is derived from project results (energy savings) and national incentives for energy efficiency and renewables.

Why has SITE chosen to become accredited as an ESCO?
Energy Service Companies have the possibility to become accredited according to the Italian technical standard UNI CEI 11352. With accreditation, they can offer greater assurance to third parties regarding their competence and capabilities, and thus gain the opportunity to compete for future public tenders without restrictions. The accreditation process also affords ESCOs the opportunity to reorganise themselves. In summary, under the standard an ESCO is required to guarantee customers improved energy efficiency with its services. This improvement is measured by comparing the level of reduction against initial consumption levels. Moreover, to be able to work in the field of energy efficiency, as of 19 July 2016 ESCOs must be in possession of UNI CEI 11352:2014 and UNI CEI 11339 certification issued by an accredited certification body (ref. Art. 8 and 12 of Italian Legislative Decree 102/2014 and Interdepartmental Decree of 12/05/2015). Only certified ESCOs will be permitted to provide Energy Audits for large companies and energy-consuming companies, as well as to participate in white certificate schemes. Certified ESCOs are also eligible to apply for incentive grants under Italy’s “Conto Termico” scheme, a government aid for renewable heating sources in effect since 31 May 2016.