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Re-Commissioning – Raising Energy Performance in Existing Non-Residential Buildings (Hospitals, Universities, Office Buildings) (RE-CO)

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The Re-Co project aimed at developing, testing and promoting a systematic Re-Commissioning approach to improve the operation and maintenance of non residential complex buildings with no- or low-cost measures. The Re-Commissioning approach is based on 5 key components: 1.Energy information systems, 2.Data analyses and selected measurement, 3.Optimization of existing building technology, 4.Information and motivation of building occupants and 5.Performance measurement and quality assurance. The project was guided by three main objectives: 1.All project partners had to perform one concrete pilot Re-commissioning projects and save at least 10 % of final energy through low-or-no-cost measures in their pilot buildings. 2.The project partners had to share their various know-how and experiences to define the best available Re-Commissioning process. 3.All project partners had to execute a national dissemination and networking strategy to spread Re-Co experiences and good practice examples.


The 14 Re-Co pilot projects have shown in practice that final energy savings in the range of 10-15% are realistic when applying re-commissioning, leading to payback periods of 1 year or less. The average internal rate of return (IRR) of the pilot projects is 73%, proving that investments in carrying out the Re-Co measures are also financially attractive. In situations where there is currently no money or willingness to invest in new installations, by applying only no-or-low-cost measures, re-commissioning can open the door to energy efficiency investments and can therefore be seen as THE WAY TO START energy efficiency activities.In addition to the pilot projects, the project has also produced valuable and useful support tools on Re-Commissioning such as the Re-Commissioning Guidebook and the Re-Co brochure, the market survey on re-commissioning, a paper on policy drivers and regulatory frameworks , the Triple C Concept (Creating Commitment to Change), the pilot projects’ videos and much more.

Lessons learned

  • The Re-Co pilot projects actually point to a very attractive economic performance with high profit margins and an average internal rate of return (IRR) of 69% for hospitals and 78% for offices.
  • On the condition that the savings benchmark of 10% is largely achieved, Re-Co projects show a very attractive economic performance with high profit margins (see Table 1). Because the Re-Co approach reveals quite a high share of fixed costs (costs that cannot be directly attributed to implementation of the savings measures; these costs are mainly ‘start-up costs’ including energy analysis, identification of measures and overall project management), the profitability depends strongly on the size of the projects: Large projects tend to be remarkably more profitable than smaller ones.
  • User motivation activities are an integral and important part of Re-Co projects since users have a considerable impact on the energy consumption of buildings. Different user motivation approaches were tested in the pilot projects.

Partners and coordinator

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Graz Energy Agency
Contact point: 
Reinhard Ungerböck


Key documents

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In brief

01/09/2011 to 01/06/2014
Contract number: 

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