The street lighting refurbishment with LEDs is an energy efficiency improvement measure that often requires significant upfront investments. This is a major barrier for most municipalities in Europe. However, in many cases, EPC can offer a solution to overcome this obstacle. EnergaP, the Energy Agency of Podravje (Slovenia) knows this very well. Indeed, they have developed a project to refurbish street lighting in their region using EPC as a source of the innovative financing mechanism. Thanks to the PROSPECT peer-to-peer mentoring program, they were able to share this experience with the Municipality of Loures, Portugal. In this article, we go back through their common learning experience.

On the first and second steps of the first Learning Cycle of this Lighting module, two online sessions took place. During the first one, the Mentor presented the project ‘Establishing markets for the uptake of guaranteed energy services in the form of energy performance contracts’, a work program aiming to create 36 EPC in European regions by using street lighting refurbishment as a learning and testing ground with expected savings to exceed 32,000 MWh.

At the second online session, the Mentee ‘Câmara Municipal de Loures (Portugal)presented the project  ‘ADAO BARATA PUBLIC PARK’, aiming at the replacement of all the  public lighting  at a public park for  LED  technology. It is expected that by joining PROSPECT, the presented project will be financed leading, as a result, to annual monetary savings of 11,000 €  and annual emission reduction of approximately 33 tCO2.

The main activity of the first Learning cycle, took place with the visit of the Mentee in Maribor in order to learn about Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) for public lighting.


Image: Mentor Vlasta K. from ENERGAP, mentee Fernando N. from Loures and faciliator Mia D. from PROSPECT.

During the visit, the partner cities had the opportunity to talk about all general steps needed to start the procurement for EPC, as well as all necessary clauses a true EPC contract should entail.

In order to witness three examples of EPC realized in practice, site visits were organised to nearby municipalities. The first visit was to Municipality  Radje ob Dravi, where EPC was used to refurbish  an old municipality building. This scheme includes public and a private owner which share the building. Also, the municipality has refurbished 486 luminaries, or almost entire public lighting through EPC, making it not only new and modern, but the lighting also changes colors in the ones chosen by citizens as the most attractive. On the next visit, an  EPC project manager,  Mr. Tomaž Pristovnik in  Slovenska Bistrica, shared his positive experience of implementing EPCs in 16 of their public buildings.


Image: Mentor Vlasta K. from ENERGAP organizes a visit to Bistrica where mentee Fernando N. talked to Mr. Tomaz P., an EPC project manager.

The information gathered during these visits constituted a valuable input in view of the replication potential of ENERGAP´s project, as results showed that many stakeholders are very interested in the EPC instrument but wide-ranging knowledge gaps on technical and economic aspects exist. Furthermore, LED offers choice, but require knowing well the needs of the Municipalities.