|Pilot Name||Deep Renovation of the School Centre Nova Gorica|
|Client Type||Education Institution|
The Goriška Local Energy Agency (GOLEA) provides a range of services and support predominantly to public clients aimed at increasing energy efficiency (EE), promoting the use of renewable energy sources (RES), and developing sustainable urban transport. The agency offers services such as elaboration of local energy concepts, sustainable energy and climate action plans, sustainable urban mobility plans, energy performance certificates, and energy management implementation in public buildings, and performance of energy audits. GOLEA is the leading energy performance contracting (EPC) and energy supply contracting (ESC) facilitator in Slovenia. The agency has also been successful in securing technical assistance grants, such as the ELENA grant, to support sustainable investments in buildings, efficient district heating systems, local utilities, street lighting, and clean transport. Through this grant, the agency provided support to 33 municipalities and public bodies in Slovenia, helping them to prepare for sustainable investments totalling EUR 49.5 million. The technical support provided by the agency included analysis of project financing options and economic feasibility, tendering and negotiation processes.
GOLEA, being a facilitator for EE and RES projects, has been a pioneer in the development of the national EPC and ESC market. To upgrade its business model and core brokerage services, the agency is interested in providing standardized due diligence services requested by refinancing financial institutions. These services are intended to provide an objective assessment of the potential refinancing operation and to enhance the credibility and transparency of the projects. In addition to due diligence services, the agency is also interested in strengthening its neighbouring refinancing facilitation services. These services include project appraisal, estimation of returns, one-stop-shop support, bundling of projects, and market development. To provide to the agency more profound knowledge on EPC and ESC projects’ risks, project refinanceability risk, and refinancing facilitation, a learning-by-doing approach, based on REFINE developed instruments and tools, was used. The specific objectives of the agency were to gain relevant information about the structure, process steps, risk allocation, and framework conditions for refinancing instruments and tools. Through proactive networking with GOLEA, the agency was able to gain a better understanding of the (re)financing market dynamics and the various stakeholders involved in the refinancing process. This helps the agency to provide more relevant and comprehensive information to its clients, enabling them to make informed decisions.
To create the pilot project risk assessment for refinancing based on available data, two layers of risk using the REFINE EE Project Risk Analysis tool. These layers included the EPC project risk evaluation and the EPC contractual preparedness risk evaluation. The EES project risk evaluation assessed the risk associated with the EES project itself, EES provider and EES client. The EES contractual preparedness risk evaluation assessed the risk associated with the existing contractual agreement related to the pilot project.
The REFINE project brought in the pilot project the knowledge of refinancing. This knowledge provided to the pilot project facilitator valuable insights on how to facilitate development of low risk EPC/ESC projects, improve competitive dialog and structure contracts in a way that makes them more attractive to potential (re)financiers. Prepared contract stipulations whose incorporation is advisable in EPC contracts in order to facilitate their subsequent refinancing by a financial institution were not incorporated in the pilot project contract as they were not subject to the competitive dialogue and risk of prolonged approval process including involvement of the government
The REFINE project’s must-have and nice-to-have stipulations for EES contracts related to refinancing procedures were seen as highly valuable by the agency. It was concluded that these stipulations should be included in already existing standard EPC contracts. This is particularly important given that the EPC providers entering the market are predominantly SMEs. These companies may not have the knowledge in refinancing and resources to develop effective contracts that can facilitate refinancing. By incorporating the REFINE stipulations into standard contracts, the level playing field is provided, ensuring that all providers are held to the same standards when it comes to facilitating refinancing and market development.
The EES/EPC facilitation services market is still underdeveloped and mainly oriented towards EPC projects and market facilitation. At the same time, there is a growing recognition of the importance of practically not existing financing facilitation.
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