Prague – A national QualitEE project discussion seminar on the topic of quality and certification of energy performance contracting (EPC) was held in Prague on 25 January 2018 by SEVEn. Seminar presentations are available here.
Proposed sets of quality criteria and certification schemes for EPC projects and providers in the Czech Republic were presented and discussed at the seminar. The event followed on from the European workshop on the topic of certification, which took place in Prague at the end of November.
In the first part of the seminar, Jana Szomolányiová (SEVEn) presented a proposed set of European quality criteria for energy services created by the international team of the European project called QualitEE. The starting point for this work was a quality assurance system for energy services, introduced recently in Austria by the Association of Energy Service Providers DECA. Jaroslav Maroušek (SEVEn) then presented a selection from the European quality criteria for evaluating quality that are considered suitable for certification of EPC projects in the Czech market.
Prof. Jaroslav Knápek of the Czech Technical University in Prague introduced participants to the general quality assurance system for products and services in the Czech Republic. Vladimír Sochor from the Ministry of Industry and Trade presented the Smart Energy Savings program, a recently introduced Czech quality certificate for energy savings projects.
The last part of the seminar focused on specific proposals for methods of EPC certification in the Czech Republic. Jana Szomolányiová presented the opinions of Czech market participants about the energy services criteria and certification, based on the recent market survey conducted by the QualitEE project. According to her, three quarters of Czech ESCO companies and facilitators participating in the survey expect the certification system to lead to the introduction of standardised quality criteria and greater trust on the part of clients in EPC projects.
Jaroslav Maroušek’s lecture, introducing specific proposals of certification schemes for EPC projects and certification schemes for ESCO companies, reacted to this positive expectation. An intense discussion followed, which will influence further work on proposals for criteria and certification schemes. Several participants in the discussion gave preference to certification systems with lower certification costs so that the price of the certificate does not present a barrier to the use of the system and supports market development.
The introduction of certification for EPC projects and providers is another major step relating to standardisation in the area of provided energy services. Support for the introduction of certification of energy services companies also follows from the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency.