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The Middelfart model: ESCO-renovation of 100 public buildings

In 2007, as the first municipality in Denmark, Middelfart started an extensive ESCO project. The energy upgrade of 100 public buildings which, today, means halved CO2 emissions.

2648 tonnes each year. This is how much Middelfart Municipality has now reduced CO2 emissions through the energy upgrade of 100 public buildings - and the first stages of the renovation of the overall system of street lighting. If one estimates that an average detached house emits three tonnes per year, this reduction corresponds to the emissions from the water, heating and electricity consumption of approximately 880 detached houses.

The completion of the municipal reform in 2007 became the starting point for the ESCO work to be carried out in Middelfart Municipality. Simply put, an ESCO collaboration means that energy savings pay for the work being carried out - without financial risk to the municipality and, hence, the taxpayers.

The merger of Ejby, Nørre Aaby and Middelfart municipalities meant that several buildings were gathered in one operations department and, at the same time, the municipality took over building stock from the former county, which meant that there was a general need to get an overall idea of the new municipal building stock.

A preliminary study showed the need for a joint effort

A thorough preliminary study of the municipality buildings showed major differences in energy consumption between buildings and it was clear that a total solution for the entire building stock of 180,000m2 would prove to be the most effective approach.

It was decided to test the ESCO model and DKK 44 million was invested in the project which considered both technical installations and climate envelope.

In addition, the work contributed to the removal from the municipality of a lot of asbestos as well as the opening its eyes to ventilation systems that did not operate in optimum manner.

After 10 years of practical experience in Middelfart, the ESCO model has been extended into a new and improved model which involves the municipality using ESCO as a strategic planning tool.