French municipalities are characterised by their very high number and extreme diversity, both in terms of size and available financial resources. Buildings cover 200 million m² and are responsible for 43% of total energy end-use, tertiary buildings accounting for one third of such consumption.
Since 40% of tertiary buildings are owned or rented by the central government, public companies or local and regional authorities, the energy saving potential of municipal buildings is highly significant.
Budgetary constraints, including the internal financial organisation of any authorities, have often blocked useful and necessary energy-saving investments, a situation local authorities’ technical services have rarely been able to oppose even though the proposed energy-efficiency measures were economically viable.
The concept of Intracting was first experimented and adapted by the City of Stuttgart.
Intracting proved highly efficient at reducing energy and water costs. It is the success of this financing model that prompted other cities and institutions to adapt it to their own context.
In Stuttgart, the Management of the Intracting fund was entrusted to the city’s energy department created in 1977. This department directly reports to the “environmental protection department” and is responsible for monitoring energy use, implementing innovative demonstration projects (especially in the field of renewable energy) and managing anumber of grant programmes. The stakeholders involved are three public organisations and one private company: the energy department in charge of managing the fund, the municipal construction department in charge of work follow-up, the “client” department (technical department or public company) and a private consulting firm, entrusted with project engineering.
Governance is as follows: the energy department has a comprehensive vision of energy use in all municipal buildings. It identifies the buildings with the highest energy saving potential and prepares an investment plan including a fine-tune assessment of potential energy savings and necessary investments. Once the “client” department agrees to the plan,implementation of the work is entrusted to the municipal construction department in charge of public procurement and project follow-up.