Greening Public Buildings: ESCO-Contracting in Danish Municipalities

Jesper Ole Jensen, Susanne Balslev Nielsen, Jesper Rohr Hansen

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    This paper presents current research on Danish municipalities’ use of Energy Service Companies (ESCO) as a way to improve the standard of public buildings and to
    increase energy efficiency. In recent years more and more municipalities have used ESCO-contracts to retrofit existing public buildings, and to make them more energy
    efficient. At the moment 30 municipalities (of the 98 municipalities in Denmark) are involved in, or preparing, ESCO contracts. Nevertheless, ESCO-contracting still faces
    many challenges on the Danish market, as there is a widespread skepticism towards the concept amongst many stakeholders. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the various experience gained so far by municipalities use of ESCO-contracting, the different approached to ESCO-contracting being used in practice, as well as the different viewpoints drivers and barriers behind the development. The strong growth in ESCO-contracts reflects that the ESCO-concept fits well with a number of present problems that municipalities are facing, as well as a flexible adaptation to the local context in different municipalities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2407-2427
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Bibliographical note

    © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (


    • Energy Service Companies (ESCO)
    • Municipalities
    • Public buildings
    • Energy savings

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