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Energy Exploitation and Performance Contracting for Low Income and Social Housing (ECOLISH)

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ECOLISH – "Energy Exploitation and Performance Contracting for Low Income and Social Housing" was a project that aimed at overcoming barriers to promote energy efficiency in low income and social housing by organising and evaluating pilot projects using Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) and Energy Exploitation in four European countries (i.e. Netherlands, Latvia, Greece and Hungary). Overall, the ECOLISH project aimed at answering a challenging question: how to refurbish multi-residential buildings and single family dwellings with poor energy performance knowing that their occupants don't have the financial capacity to invest themselves in refurbishment works? Energy Performance Contracting combined with third party financing is theoretically a good solution to this problem as an investment can be performed with limited financial investments from the occupants. The ECOLISH consortium tried therefore to demonstrate the feasibility of this concept in four European countries.


  • Template and guidelines for Energy Performance Contracting and Energy Exploitation models.
  • Detailed implementation plan for the target groups in the EU, including municipalities, housing corporations, real estate developers and utilities.
  • Follow-up pilot projects in a number of European cities and municipalities.
  • Improved indoor environment and health for occupants in combination with low energy costs.

Lessons learned

  • Technical solutions to refurbish these multi-residential buildings are not so much a problem although comfort standards and expectations differ a lot from one country to another.
  • To implement an EPC, the occupants need to organise themselves in a legal entity and this is very challenging due to the individual and spread ownership. Public bodies could better play a role in supporting/organising the occupants. In addition, the lack of strategic long term vision of the occupants hinders the implementation of the more robust improvements (e.g. improving the building envelope) that requires a long pay-back time.
  • - Financing by ESCOs for individual houses owners are possible on all pilot locations but ESCOs have to gain the trust of the occupants. In addition, because of their low incomes, the occupants have difficulties in getting a credit. An offer from an ESCO should therefore include a clear plan for providing them with financial capacities. The use of mortgage and revolving funds are adapted to this situation.

Partners and coordinator

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Cauberg-Huygen Raadgevende Ingenieurs bv
Contact point: 
Peter Op 't Veld
0033 43 3467878


Key documents

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In brief

01/12/2006 to 30/11/2009
Contract number: 

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