SPL OSER in Région Rhône-Alpes delivered investments facilitated by the Technical Assistance of eeef combining market based funding

Grenoble/Luxembourg – The Société Publique Locale - Opérateur de Services Energétiques Régional of Rhône-Alpes (SPL-OSER, Regional Energy Service Public Company) has successfully ended the Technical Assistance (TA) program funded by the European Commission via the European Energy Efficiency Fund (eeef).

SPL-OSER received financial support for the TA over the first three years of activity, to develop and implement the project structure, run energy audits, legal assistance and cover all related staff-costs.

After one year of start-up phase, SPL-OSER has initiated the renovation program, which at the end of 2015 embraced 10 buildings owned by the municipalities of Bourg-en-Bresse, Cran-Gevrier and Montmélian and by the Région Rhône-Alpes totaling investments for €25.1m.

SPL-OSER demonstrated that each euro spent on TA was able to generate over 22.3 times in long-term investments, with this having met and exceeded the leverage ratio initially required of 1:20. On top of the TA, EEEF directly provided a loan of EUR 5m to finance the projects from the design phase to construction and final commissioning and refinancing. Another remarkable effect of the eeef facility is that local and national financial institutions found the way paved and provided short- and long-term financing. The global support received via eeef ultimately created the conditions to make the expected savings of CO2 equivalent - 1,000 tons/year - reality.

The initiative highlights an innovative role for a public body, materially acting as a project manager specialized on energy efficiency investments for public assets. Another interesting feature is the adopted strategy of blending public and private finance, subsidized facilities with market tools. The outcome from the financial, legal and operational structure of SPL-OSER is a program finalized on time and on budget, pioneer to others already under development, which attracted new shareholders and created a benchmark for similar upcoming initiatives in other regions of the country.

The SPL was initiated by the Région Rhône-Alpes (France), associated with a number of public authorities in the Region and is dedicated to implement energy efficiency projects for public buildings, including renewable energy production. Any local authority from the Region can become a shareholder and benefit from SPL-OSER services provided that it recognizes the statute and the mission of the company. The program embraces schools and other aging public buildings in the municipalities of the Region. By setting an example of building upgrade, the SPL aims to achieve its 2050 objectives of energy consumption and GHG reduction, while setting a good practice and a benchmark for this sector.

The European Energy Efficiency Fund (EEEF) S.A., SICAV-SIF is a “societé d’investissement à capital variable” governed by Luxembourg law and was initiated by the European Commission in cooperation with the European Investment Bank. The initial capitalization provided by the European Commission was increased with contributions from the sponsors European Investment Bank, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti as well as the Investment Manager Deutsche Bank.

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