About eu.ESCO


Buildings are responsible for 40% of the energy consumption and 36% of the European Union’s (EU) CO2 emissions. Therefore, energy efficiency of buildings is crucial to achieving the EU objectives, namely the reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions (GHG) by 80‐95% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels.

For this to happen, the European energy services market needs to be strengthened. In this context, the European Association of Energy Service Companies (eu.ESCO) was founded in 2009 by the European Building Automation and Controls Association (eu.bac) and aims at boosting the energy services market by increasing its transparency and its trustworthiness.

Uncertainty, lack of knowledge, lack of awareness, and confusion concerning definitions, processes and contract provisions related to Energy Services Companies (ESCOs) and Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) are widely recognised as key barriers to further market development, according to research made by the Institute for Building Efficiency (IBE).

In this sense, eu.ESCO provides best practices and knowledge sharing to drive standardisation and to accelerate EPC use.

eu.ESCO’s Vision is: “A world where Energy Performance Contracting is recognised by public authorities as one of the key tools for energy efficiency in buildings

eu.ESCO’s Mission is: “To represent Energy Service Companies offering Energy Performance Contracting vis‐à‐vis European Institutions, other relevant European Stakeholders, Member States and public authorities

Major activities

  • Providing education, best practices sharing and knowledge transfer on ESCOs and EPC
  • Boosting the energy services market by increasing its transparency: information updates on ESCOs and their offerings, guarantee the quality of their services, etc.
  • Making energy services accessible and understandable by disseminating examples and case studies
  • Increasing customers’ confidence in ESCOs
  • Raising awareness on EPC potential, knowledge and usage
  • Facilitating interaction between ESCOs, policy‐makers and key stakeholders


  • Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, EPBD (Directive 2010/31/EU)
  • Public Procurement, PP (Directive 2004/18/EC)
  • Eco-design of Energy-Related Products, EuP (Directive 2009/125/EC)
  • Directive on energy efficiency, EED (Directive 2012/27/EU)

While using the building standard procedures to determine the EPC potential – developed by the European Building Automation Controls Association (eu.bac) – EPC allows to fulfill both national legislations as well as European legislations (Directives and Regulations) on energy savings and enables public authorities to achieve a sustainable development and their environment goals.

Important Links

28 Members

Seize the opportunity NOW: minimum requirements for Building Automation and Controls, a game-changer in building energy savings

Seize the opportunity NOW: minimum requirements for Building Automation and Controls, a game-changer in building energy savings

Cities are growing at an unpresented rate today; by 2030, around 60% of the global population will live in cities. At the same time, urbanisation and climate change threaten to be a dangerous mixture, putting new pressure on already vulnerable infrastructure and disrupting basic urban life styles. Buildings are a key element of the cities’ infrastructure and can play a crucial role in helping citizens and businesses improve their resilience to climate change and improve the energy security, fight energy poverty.

The European Union has a great opportunity ahead of her with the review of the EPBD: accelerate the rate of renovation of the European building stock, by introducing more optimization and performance-based energy management practices, provided by Building Automation and Control systems and data analytics.

The built environment in cities is in the middle of a profound transformation. At the core of this transformation is the concept of Smart Building, which essentially refers to advanced building automation, data analytics and cloud-based software tools. A building is no longer a building, but rather a network of information which could be better used to achieve greater energy efficiency. Security, HVAC, fire detection systems etc – they all have now the capacity to connect devices, optimize data and track energy usage. It is no longer enough to install energy efficiency technologies, without a way to control, connect and make them interact to achieve significant long-term energy savings. Intelligent buildings utilize sensors, controls and analytics to improve energy efficiency, lower operating costs, and improve asset reliability. For example, research demonstrates that Building Controls are key to reduce energy consumption in existing commercial and industry facilities. A study conducted by the European Commission on energy saving potentials in the industry sector highlights the importance of an Integrated control system. According to this study, this measure is classified as “projected sector energy saving opportunities with highest technical potential” (with <2 year simple payback).[1]


A Smart Building gives to the consumer an unprecedented insight into the building’s performance, by making extensive use of available information about the operation of the building and its environment, including computerised optimisation of its systems during the hours of occupation. The performance of the building is controlled and monitored in a way that is easy, informative and empowering to the owner or occupant so that the right decision on the long-term operation and performance of the building can be taken on the basis of real time data. Moreover, consumption patterns can be collected and used for the management of the building and future renovation strategies. However, in collecting the data, attention should be paid to the rights to privacy of building owners and occupants.


In the case of EPBD, setting minimum requirements for Building Automation and Controls Systems (art 8) would significantly increase the energy savings. Regarding nZEBs and on site production of energy from renewable sources, Building Controls can play a key role in balancing local production, grid and storage. Moreover, the introduction of a definition for Building Automation and Controls Systems is also needed in order to raise awareness on their use and potential. The combination of equipment and controls is crucial to close the gap between designed and actual energy performance of buildings. In many cases, equipment can be perfect, but if the Building Automation and Controls System doesn’t exist to activate devices and adapt them to the needs of the building, the energy efficiency potential decreases and improvements cannot be identified.


In conclusion, Building Controls and Data Analytics have tremendous potential in delivering performance-based energy efficiency improvements and creating more resilient, flexible infrastructure within cities; but ambitious legislation is very much needed. The lack of transparency in building data has been a key barrier to wider adoption of energy efficiency in the built environment for too long. Now it’s the moment to correct this and set minimum requirements for Building Automation and Controls Systems functionalities in large buildings, by 2023. If we don’t do it now, the next review will be too late – from a climate change and market perspective. 


Anda Ghiran, Global Energy & Sustainability Policy Manager at Johnson Controls and Member of the eu.bac Advocacy Panel

[1] European Commission. Study on energy efficiency and energy saving potential in industry and on possible policy mechanisms, Brussels: 2015. Can be downloaded at: https://ec.europa.eu/energy/sites/ener/files/documents/151201%20DG%20ENER%20Industrial%20EE%20stu dy%20-%20final%20report_clean_stc.pdf  




Our members
Become a member
Members Log-in
Subscribe to eu.bac
Insight Magazine