Financial support and services: how to adapt to context?

Financial support and services refers to grants, loans and financial services like energy service companies (ESCOs) or energy performance contracting. They aim to remove or reduce the following problems:

  • lack of incentives to invest in energy efficiency
  • lack of capital
  • perceived risks and benefits of energy efficiency investments

These instruments mainly relate to energy-efficiency investment decisions.

What you need to do: 

In order to fit financial support and services to context, you need to:

  1. Understand how your target group makes decisions
  2. Learn about your target group's capacity and willingness to make investments
  3. Make sure the encouraged solutions (including the necessary competences and support services) are easily available -> engage stakeholders
  4. Allow for local variation and tailoring of solutions -> plan for and with your target group
  5. Recognise that users form their opinions on the basis of what they learn from other users -> build credibility and trust
When does it work?: 

Government grants and ESCO-services have somewhat different conditions for success. Common conditions for success, however, inlcude the following:

  • Customers are aware of the available services
  • Baselines and outcomes can be calculated
  • Solutions for saving energy are readily available
What do you need to look out for: 

► High transaction costs for small energy end-users (administration can be costly)

► Not all investments made are necessarily due to your project