Should cities have their own ESCO?

As part of their energy policy and particularly of energy efficiency, the main challenge faced by cities is the financing of the thermal rehabilitation of buildings.

In this context, the use of third party financing through Energy Performance Contracts often imposed itself as a mean of reducing the financial commitment of the city.

Driven by the political will to engage resolutely in the field of energy savings, by the belief in a form of omnipotence of the public sector, by the temptation to control the operations or simply by the need to simply bypass the constraints imposed by the procurement code, some cities (or local authorities) are tempted to create their own ESCO.

Only some examples of such experiences have been successful, ie whose financial risks have been controlled: the heart of the concerns of an ESCO is indeed to master legal and financial risks. Technical competence should be complemented by an extremely rigorous project management competence.

This is not an insult to public structures in all countries to state that their way of decision and action is not suitable for this type of activity.

It is better for cities and local governments to rely on private actors recognized as competent for optimum financial performance and keep indirect control of the renovation process.

This does not mean the establishment of a grant program that would cost a huge amount the use of ESCOs wanted to avoid.

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