:: Association of Energy Services Companies in the Czech Republic

The first energy services company in the Czech Republic was founded in 1993. For several years, companies dealing with energy services considered establishing a professional association. At the end of last year (2009), they finally decided to found the Association of Energy Services Companies.

Almost 18 years have passed since the origination of the first energy services company in the Czech Republic. The 1990s were characterised by seeking the most suitable method of provision of energy services. In the very beginning, EPC was offered (the method of energy services provision still most suitable for the public sector). Several companies applied the EPC method, which resulted in a significant amount of successful projects.

In 1995, the development of EPC was negatively affected by the adoption of the first version of the Public Procurement Act. Pursuant to the Act, the comprehensiveness of the solutions provided by energy-saving projects, encompassing the proposed solution, drawing up of project documentation, implementation of saving measures, gradual repayment of the investment laid out and the guarantee for the agreed volume of savings, was not acceptable.

Nevertheless, a solution was ultimately found. Today, public procurements for the provision of energy services with a guaranteed result are routinely “tendered” in the form of a selection procedure being made public. The public procurement process continues to evolve and improve.

There are also efforts aimed at finding the most suitable and the most balanced wording of the contracts on the basis of which projects are implemented by means of the EPC method. At the present time, the general wording of the contracts is frequently part of the contracting documentation, with the texts still being constantly improved on the basis of specific experience.

Despite the endeavours to disseminate information about the EPC method and its advantages, the public sphere and, primarily, the state sector do not yet prioritise the method as much as it deserves. Interesting in this respect is the support connected with the enforcement of Directive 2006/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, on energy end-use efficiency and energy services.

At the present time, further development of standard documents is also being initiated within the activities of the international EESI project and support for energy services provided to the public sector within the ChangeBest project, in which SEVEn is the Czech partner

The mentioned topics are the main stimuli in whose development energy services companies providing EPC are interested. Also interested in them are consultancy firms that help to prepare and process selection procedures for public procurements pertaining to provision of the respective energy services. This was the main impulse of the endeavour to formalise the professional association of those interested in supporting the provision of energy services, which is now originating in the form of the Association of Energy Services Companies.

At the present time, the foundation of the Association of Energy Services Companies is in the final phase. Its mission will be to support the evelopment of energy services in the Czech Republic. Information about the implemented projects and energy services companies can be found on www.epc-ec.cz.