|Institutionalization of a Payment Guarantee Fund
|Public Body & Bank
A public body and bank whose main role is to provide loans and to facilitate financing (e.g. guarantee funds, technical assistance, subsidies etc.) for the public sector in Greece.
Law 4643/2019 provides the necessary institutional and legal framework for the institutionalization of a Payment Guarantee mechanism by the Hellenic Loan and Consignments Fund for the “Electra Programme” which provides national subsidies ranging from 50 to 75% of the budget for the energy upgrade of buildings of the public sector. The programme foresees an extra 10% subsidy, if an ESCO undertakes the financing of the remaining budget with an Energy Performance Contract (EPC). This mechanism will have to be institutionalized and described in detail with the publication of a Ministerial Decree by the Hellenic Ministry of Energy and Environment.
The “Electra” programme has been launched and proposals can now be submitted via its electronic platform. However, even though Law 4643/2019 foresees the institutionalization of a payment guarantee mechanism for those projects in which ESCO will finance the remaining budget of the project, the Ministerial Decree that will enforce this and provide all its working details has yet to be published by the Hellenic Ministry of Energy and Environment.
The municipalities that do not have own funds to apply to the programme are very interested in both the financing and refinancing concepts. Factors that are holding them back from pursuing this course of action are mainly the lack of experience in the publication of such Tenders. On the other hand, ESCOs are also interested but they are still awaiting he publication of the Ministerial Decree. They also await with interest the terms and conditions of the Tender (i.e. guaranteed performance or shared savings, type of monitoring and verification scheme, duration of the energy performance contract).
Payment guarantee mechanisms can provide a significant positive impact to the Energy Services Market. However, they only solve the problem of the guarantee of payments on behalf of the client. They do not solve the problem of the restricted access of ESCOs to sources of financing (i.e. via the availability of loan guarantees). Therefore, it seems that this mechanism will only be of interest to large companies with access to sources of financing. Furthermore, these large companies only seem be interested in large projects (> 1.000.000 €).
For smaller clients to achieve such budgets, cooperation with other clients will have to sought in order to cluster projects. Clients have very restricted experience in such cooperations and it is therefore highly unlikely that they would be fruitful.
For more information, please contact: (name of partner organisation responsible for this pilot)