Funding, Finance & Procurement

Energy Service Companies


The development of ESCO-type services is a key component of the programme for Government and SEAI and DCENR are working with many public bodies, providing advice and support on ESCOs and how to procure them, in order to facilitate and develop the market.

A public body may establish an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) with an ESCO who provides the investment for an energy saving project, with the investment being repaid out of the reduced energy costs as a result of the energy savings made.

Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) facilitate financing for investment in energy using plant, equipment and infrastructure and allow public bodies to implement energy technology projects without up-front capital costs.

For further information on the National Energy Performance Contracting Framework please see


The money for the EPC programme is already in your budget, currently you are spending it on wasted energy.

Hans Symanczik
European Building Automation & Controls Association


The main options for outsourcing energy management and the associated level of risk are presented here:

Diagram demonstrating the level of risk involved with an ESCO

The options range from hiring an energy consultant through to a full energy services contract.

Energy consultant: the classic arrangement whereby an energy consultant advises the client on energy management.

Energy bureau: typically a contractor provides a standard energy programme including professional advice and services to one or a group of clients. Case study: e3, OPW Optimising Power @ Work

Facilities / maintenance management contract with energy KPI: contractor delivers facilities and maintenance management with agreed key performance indicators for energy.

Maintenance and energy management contract with energy performance payment: contractor delivers maintenance and energy management with remuneration partly dependent on energy performance.

Energy supply contract: typically an ESCO buys fuel, installs, operates and maintains energy producing plant, and the client purchases the energy output, e.g. heat or electricity. Case study: UCD Biomass, UCD CHP

Energy services contract (ESCO): operation, maintenance and energy management of building services installed by a contractor, which is typically financed and owned by the contractor. Client pays for energy used. Case study: Stewarts Hospital

ESCO contracts are typically classified as being either:

  • Shared Savings, or
  • Guaranteed Savings.

The differences between the two approaches relate to the project finance, payment arrangements and the allocation and apportionment of energy savings and risk.

Shared Savings

Diagram demonstrating the shared savings of using an ESCO

Guaranteed Savings

Diagram demonstrating the guaranteed savings of an ESCO

Useful links


Contact Us

For more information on the programme or to initiate a Partnership Agreement contact:

Ph: 01 808 2100 or email

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