First energy performance contract concluded within the public sector in Flanders

First energy performance contract concluded within the public sector in Flanders

On 26 October 2015, the Openbaar Psychiatrisch Zorgcentrum Rekem (hereafter "OPZ Rekem", the Public Psychiatric Healthcare Centre of Rekem) concluded the first energy performance contract within the public sector in Flanders. The Vlaams EnergieBedrijf [Flemish Energy Company] acted as central purchasing body, as a result of which the OPZ Rekem was released from the obligation to organise the award procedure itself.

An energy performance contract in the public sector is a public procurement contract under which the contractor assumes responsibility for both the (pre)financing and the execution of the contract. Such a long-term contract can be concluded on the basis of various award procedures, namely choice of the tender on the basis of the lowest price, choice of the tender on the basis of the most economically advantageous tender, negotiation procedure or competitive dialogue.

An important characteristic of an energy performance contract is that the contractor (also called the Energy Service Company, or "ESCO") must achieve a contractually-established energy performance. A part of the energy savings realised by the contractor is then used to compensate the contractor. In this particular case, the Vlaams EnergieBedrijf negotiated a guaranteed savings of more than 30% on OPZ Rekem´s energy bill.

The contract for OPZ Rekem concerns a pilot project that the Vlaams EnergieBedrijf wishes to apply to other public institutions in Flanders.

For more information about energy performance contracts, you can contact the website of the Vlaams EnergieBedrijf (http://www.vlaamsenergiebedrijf.eu/onze-diensten/energie-efficientie) and our specialists on the subject: Jan De Leyn (author), Kris Lemmens (author and unit head Public Procurement and PPP) and Kristof Hectors (head of the environmental and energy law practice group).