Global ESCO Network founders hold first meeting

Date Published: 
October 22, 2020
  • Microsoft Teams screenshots from the first meeting of the Global Energy Network on 22 October 2020. (Images: APEIA, PE2)
    Microsoft Teams screenshots from the first meeting of the Global Energy Network on 22 October 2020. (Images: APEIA, PE2)

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK, 22 October 2020 – The founders of the Global ESCO Network held its initial meeting earlier today to discuss the updates to the founding document signed in June 2019, as well as agree on proposed objectives and organization of the body.

The virtual meeting was convened and chaired by Dr. Søren E. Lütken, Senior Economist of the UNEP DTU Partnership. The “founding fathers” of the Global ESCO Network who attended the kick-off meeting included: Pierre Langlois and Mark Lister of the Efficiency Valuation Organization (EVO); Alexander Ablaza, co-chair of the Asia-Pacific ESCO Industry Alliance (APEIA); Dilip R. Limaye of SRC Global; Simone Alessandri of the European Building Automation Controls Association (eu.bac); Timothy Unruh of the National Association of Energy Service Companies (NAESCO, USA); Stuart Galloway of the Energy Services Association Canada; and Paolo Bertoldi of the European Commission Joint Research Centre (EC-JRC).

The founders agreed that ESCOs deploy a business model directly responding to the global climate change challenge. By directly using energy savings to pay for the cost of equipment and infrastructure that creates those savings, ESCOs challenge the mantra that emissions reduction activity comes at a cost that many, particularly in developing countries, are unable to carry. In the business of climate change, ESCOs deliver some of the best returns on investment, reducing energy consumption while combating excess GHG emissions as a significant co-benefit. They nonetheless are challenged by the fact that ESCOs are not always well recognized as an industry, nor entrenched in national policies. Nowhere has their full potential been unleashed and, in many places, they still struggle to find sufficient foothold. In some sectors and some countries, however, they are thriving, but rarely as a result of dedicated policies that promote the understanding of reduced energy expenses as an investable asset class, nor the techniques and requirements of successful and widespread energy performance contracting.

The Global ESCO Network seeks to reinforce existing efforts to promote increased activities by the ESCO sector at a global scale, as its founders review a draft mission statement which includes: [a] Working for formal recognition of the ESCO sector as a pathway for countries to strengthen and achieve energy efficiency ambitions in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs); [b] Supporting a better understanding within the finance sector of the value and validity of energy performance contracting, enabling investors to engage in the provision of financial resources that facilitates a decisive scale-up of the reach and depth of ESCO activities; [c] Documenting the benefits of applying ESCO principles in business and policy development through international mapping and benchmarking of framework conditions for successful operation of ESCOs and their achievement of material energy savings; [d] Widely disseminating knowledge related to best practices in policy and business development related to ESCOs, and raising awareness among policy makers of financially attractive models for energy efficiency improvements; [e] Acting as a platform for exchange of knowledge and experience among ESCO associations, regionally and globally, on all aspects of ESCO operation, aiming at distilling central issues to inform any of the above-mentioned activities; [f] Convening experts and operating a repository of authoritative literature and other sources of information in order to establish the Global ESCO Network as the go-to resource for any issue pertaining to ESCOs and their promotion as the central concept for implementing energy efficiency investments.

The Global ESCO Network has its Secretariat anchored in the Copenhagen Centre for Energy Efficiency (CCEE) and the Efficiency Valuation Organization (EVO) having entered a Memorandum of Understanding for the operation of the Network. CCEE is the global thematic hub for energy efficiency of the UN Secretary General's Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) initiative, and is further part of the formalized collaboration between the United Nations Environment Programme and the Technical University of Denmark (called UNEP-DTU Partnership) based at the UN City complex in Copenhagen. EVO is a Washington D.C.-based non-profit organization whose products and services help people engineer and invest in energy efficiency projects worldwide. EVO´s Mission is to ensure that the savings and impact of energy efficiency and sustainability projects are accurately measured and verified.

The Global ESCO Network recognizes the regional role of APEIA as convenor of ESCO associations under its membership and will work through APEIA to advance the Network’s objectives in the Asia-Pacific region. APEIA co-chair Alexander Ablaza concurrently serves as the President of the Philippine Energy Efficiency Alliance (PE2).

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