Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Commission, has published on the 19th of September 2017 an updated guidance note on the recording of energy performance contracts (EPCs) in government accounts.
The revised guidance note clarifies the accounting rules applied to the treatment of energy performance contracts. It follows up on the work already undertaken by Eurostat to clarify the accounting rules for various types of public investment, including the Guide to the Statistical Treatment of Public Private Partnerships published last year.
Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, and responsible for Eurostat, said: “Europe needs investments. With this guidance we show how public authorities can invest in full respect of the principles of public accounting, now also in the energy sector. Facilitating investments in energy efficiency measures has also an important social function, as public buildings such as social housing facilities will benefit from it too.”
Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy said: “Energy efficiency first: from words to action. Thanks to the revised guidance published today, it will be easier for schools, hospitals, and other public buildings – which make up more than 10% of the overall EU building stock – to invest for the purpose of improving energy efficiency. Energy efficiency measures are also an important means to combat energy poverty, which this Commission aims at tackling at the roots.”
Energy performance contracts in the public sector offer a practical solution to make public buildings and other public infrastructures more energy efficient, as the initial investment can be covered by a private partner and repaid by guaranteed energy savings. However, frequently this type of contract simultaneously contains elements of a rental, service, lease, purchase or loan agreement, making its recording complex. At the request of Member States, Eurostat has worked with National Statistical Institutes (NSIs) to reflect on the most appropriate recording of EPCs in government accounts, resulting in the guidance note published today.