The city of Sint-Niklaas wants to do its part in the fight against global warming, and therefore signed an innovative energy performance contract (EPC) with Luminus Solutions, a subsidiary of Luminus, to improve the energy efficiency of its municipal buildings. This will enable the city to save 39% of the energy costs of its largest buildings and reduce its CO2 emissions by 2,600 tonnes.
Working towards a climate-neutral future
By signing the Covenant of Mayors, the city committed itself to reducing CO2 emissions on its territory by 40% by 2030 compared to 2011. Recently, the city also signed the Local Energy and Climate Pact. Among other things, it undertakes to achieve an average annual primary energy saving of at least 2.09% in its own buildings.
Alderman Bart De Bruyne : “In order to get all the people of Sint-Niklaas on board, we must set a good example ourselves as a city. Therefore, together with facilitator Factor4, we started looking for a suitable partner to make our city buildings more energy efficient. We are therefore pleased that, together with Luminus Solutions, we can prepare our city for a climate-neutral future over the next 10 years.”
In the development of the project, which was supported by Flanders Circular, the city was guided by Factor4. The facilitator developed an innovative energy performance contract (EPC) that was concluded with Luminus Solutions. The project comprises the improvement of energy performance and the management of technical installations at 9 sites in the city: the two municipal primary schools Gavertje Vier and De Droomballon, the municipal sports halls De Witte Molen and De Mispelaer, the municipal academies (SASK & SAMWD) as well as the City Theatre, the SteM and the welfare and police building.
Its innovative approach and exceptionally high energy savings make it the largest and most innovative EPC contract currently running in Flanders.
An innovative energy performance contract
With such an EPC, Luminus Solutions commits to reducing energy consumption by investing in high-performance equipment on the one hand, and by guaranteeing optimal maintenance of this equipment on the other. Thanks to the innovative approach of Factor4, the city can count on greater energy savings than is usually the case with classic EPC contracts. After all, it is not only the investment costs and the guaranteed energy savings over the term of the contract that are considered, but also – and this is new – the residual value at the end of the contract.
Johan Coolen, Managing Partner of Factor4: “In a conventional EPC project, structural investments are sometimes not made even though they would be profitable. This is usually the case when the payback period is longer than the term of the contract, for example in the case of insulation or structural renovation of air conditioning systems. By taking into account the residual value of the installations at the end of the contract, such investments can be included in the contract. We like to call this a Building Performance Contract. Energy savings in this type of contract are typically 50% higher than in a conventional EPC project.”
The impact of the implemented measures on user comfort satisfaction will also be measured during the project. It is the first time that this very result-oriented and cost-efficient method is applied in an EPC contract.
Ben Segers, Project Development Manager of Luminus Solutions: “For Luminus Solutions, it was a relief to put together a package of measures that goes beyond the classic ‘quick wins’ and also focuses on more qualitative interventions, more energy savings and more comfort for the users. We are in favour of this approach because it allows us to go further than a classic EPC contract and make faster progress towards achieving the 2030-2050 targets.”
Energy-efficient for city buildings
In the coming years, various large and small energy-saving modifications will be made to the city’s buildings, both to the buildings themselves and to the technical installations. This ranges from renewing roofs and exterior joinery to renovating heating systems and ventilation, improving lighting, optimising controls and providing our own energy production with PV panels at various locations.
In the City Theatre, for example, the roofs and windows are being renewed. A new boiler room is also installed and the air groups in the Foyer are replaced. This will not only result in a nice energy saving of more than 39%, but also in better air quality and more comfort for visitors.
In the Sporthal De Witte Molen, no less than 49% can be saved on the energy bill thanks to the insulation of the roof, the installation of solar panels and the renovation of the boiler room, the air groups and the lighting.
Alderman Bart De Bruyne: “Efforts are also being made to improve the air quality in the schools, for example in De Droomballon, where the ventilation – and thus the comfort – in the classrooms will be improved by individual class units.”
The execution of the contract will start on 1 January 2022. A total of 8.5 million euros worth of renovations and energy-saving investments will be made, which will reduce the energy costs of Sint-Niklaas by 39%. After 10 years, this means a saving of over 1 million euros and a reduction of more than 2,600 tonnes in the city’s CO2 emissions.
“At Luminus, we want to build a CO2-neutral energy future where planetary protection, well-being and economic growth are reconciled thanks to electricity and innovative solutions and services,” explains Grégoire Dallemagne, CEO of Luminus. “An EPC contract like the one here in Sint-Niklaas is fully in line with our strategy to help our customers reduce their carbon footprint and produce the electricity they need themselves in a renewable way. We are proud that together with our subsidiaries, such as Luminus Solutions and ATS, we are helping the public sector in its energy transition.”