Pointers for your sector

The options on the type of contract chosen, e.g. EPC, EPRP etc., are the same for the public and private sectors. However, certain procedures must be followed by the public sector, in particular, in implementing the process.

Where to start

Public sector

The process described in the Handbooks is the route that all public sector bodies should follow. This process complies with public spending codes and public procurement requirements in the public sector.

Completing the two initial stages (Stages 1-2) will allow you to decide on whether to pursue an energy contract or traditional route for your project, or ultimately decide not to proceed at all. If you have signed a Public Sector Partnership Agreement with SEAI, then your Partnership Support Manager can assist you in completing Stages 1 and 2 of the process. Project Assistance Grants for Energy Saving Projects is available for Initial Appraisal (Stage 2) to help host organisations to determine the technical and financial feasibility of specific project opportunities, and to help them develop the business case for progressing good projects. SEAI will also conduct Readiness Assessments at the end of Stages 2 and 3, to check if you are ready to proceed to the next stage. A Preliminary Energy Audit is also to be completed.

For each stage, approval to proceed is normally required from your Sanctioning Authority and/or the host Organisation Board.

If the value of the project is likely to exceed €20 million, then the Initial Appraisal (Stage 2) must be submitted to the Central Expenditure Evaluation Unit of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform for quality assurance purposes. The Central Expenditure & Evaluation Unit (CEEU) will advise on any additional reporting requirements for subsequent stages.

For guidance on engaging consultants, public sector organisations should refer to Section 5 of the Framework document and Appendix 2 of the Department of Finance ‘Guidelines for the Appraisal and Management of Capital Expenditure Proposals in the Public Sector’.

Consult the Support, Guidance and Documentation for more detailed guidance on the process.


SMEs should start with the SEAI Advice, Mentoring & Assessment (AMA) service and indicate that they are interested in energy contracting, with the aim of progressing through Stages 1 and 2. This will ensure that when SEAI sends out an assessor, they can brief the host organisation on the Framework, support, guidance and funding available.

The AMA service includes a site energy assessment followed by a written report. It begins with a one-day or half day site assessment, followed by a written report with specific suggestions for energy savings, plus 90 days of follow-up support and mentoring,

Consult the Support, Guidance and Documentation for more detailed guidance on the process.

Large Industry/Commercial

SEAI recommends that large industry/commercial organisations work through Stages 1-3 before engaging in detail with, or procuring an ESCO. You may engage an ESCO without going through a formal procurement process, or early in the project development process, but it is advisable to go through a procurement phase.

If you have signed a Large Industry Energy Agreement with SEAI, then the Agreement Support Manager can assist you in the process of completing Stage 1.

Private sector organisations may choose their own procurement process, but are likely to find much of the guidance and documentation on this website to be useful and relevant. 

Consult the Support, Guidance and Documentation for more detailed guidance on the process.

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