In the frame of the EnerSHIFT H2020 project, investments of €5 million have been stimulated from European Structural Funds for the energy retrofitting of social housing buildings in the Italian region of Liguria.
Illustration : Photo by Gaetano Cessati on Unsplash
The H2020-PDA “EnerSHIFT” project (Social Housing Innovative Financing Tender for Energy) aims to improve the energy performance of Social Housing buildings (over 3.000 dwellings) through retrofitting via innovative financing schemes. EnerSHIFT is to raise investments in Energy Efficiency for around 15 million € through private capital (Third-party financing), structural funds and resource synergies.
In 2016, EnerSHIFT exceptionally obtained 3,5 million € coming from the Objective 4 (Energy) of the Liguria ERDF Operative Programme 2014-2020, to be spent for Energy Efficiency interventions on social housing. Basically, thanks to the Horizon Grant, the ERDF Managing Authority decided to contribute with ERDF funds complementing Third Party Financing (energy performance contracts), in order to directly finance global renovations in the “lighthouse” buildings thus generating a greater impact in terms of energy and emissions reductions.
In addition, while ERDF funds needed a 30% co-financing, Social Housing Operators decided to further contribute, to be able to implement other needed renovations. The added value is therefore the definition of a solution with combines different sources of financing, public and private, for energy efficiency.
The SHOs implemented several energy audits on the Social Housing building stock, aimed to identify those with the best investment/energy saving ratio to reach overall energy savings over 50%. In general, buildings that have been screened for the purpose have been constructed between 1970 – 1980 and are served both by centralized and autonomous thermal power plants. This provided, the energy-saving target set for the EnerSHIFT initiative is even more impressive.
All energy efficiency projects aim to achieve a high percentage of energy savings (from 30% to 70%) and plan to intervene significantly on both the building envelope and the thermal plants (coats, roof and basement insulation, windows replacement, new thermal power plants, thermostatic valves…), in the view of a complete and deep refurbishment. The application of monitoring and control systems will verify the improvement of the buildings performance and the living comfort of housing on an analytical basis. Resources invested on their own by SHOs on the projects will be addressed to further innovative EE interventions and to structural/antiseismic building works, whose implementation would not have been possible without ESI funds providing for the overall financial sustainability of the operation.
Exploiting ESI funds have pushed the project developers to apply holistic financial plans gathering private investments, national subsidies and H2020 resources, to enhance the impacts and the multiplier effect. The performance of public works contracts will be verified and monitored through an evaluation system similar to the IPMVP model that is usually applied to EPC contracts. This is a novelty in Italy.