A new Practitioner’s Guide on the Statistical Treatment of Energy Performance Contracts was launched by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Commission, and the European Investment Bank (EIB) on May 8.

The http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/web/government-finance-statistics/methodology/guidance-on-accounting-rules (new guide) follows last year’s Eurostat Guidance note on the revised treatment of Energy Performance Contracts in government accounts.

“I am very pleased to launch a new guide today that clarifies how investments in energy efficient infrastructure should be statistically treated,” said Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner responsible for Eurostat. “This will help all stakeholders involved in commissioning, financing and undertaking energy performance contracts. This is a win-win for public authorities and private stakeholders, with a clear understanding of the impact on the national budget. I am confident this new guide will encourage both private and public project promoters to step up investments in energy efficiency projects.”

According to Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action, Miguel Arias Cañete, the guide will make it 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,” he said.

“This new guide aims to help public authorities to prepare and finance projects, by mobilising private capital and expertise for the benefit of the public sector under Energy Performance Contracts,” said Andrew McDowell, EIB Vice-President with oversight for Energy. “This is one of many steps that the EIB is taking through our joint ‘Smart Finance for Smart Buildings’ initiative with the European Commission to unlock more energy efficiency investments in public and private buildings.”

According to the Commission, the guide explains in detail how Energy Performance Contracts work and gives a clear overview of the potential impact on government finances. This will help Member States and other stakeholders to better understand the impact that the different features of these contracts have on the classification of the investment undertaken, on or off government balance sheet, and will assist public authorities in taking better-informed decisions when preparing and procuring their EPCs.”

The guide is also a helpful tool to provide clarity to public and private promoters in the context of the Investment Plan and remove perceived barriers to investment.