President of ECONOLER
A Super ESCO can be described as an entity setup by public and/or private investors and that offers full EPC Services, including adapted financing, to its clients and subcontracts project implementation to private-sector ESCOs that guarantee the expected savings to be realized. Given their unique status in the location where they operate, Super ESCOs often reinforce capacity in existing private-sector ESCOs may also help setup new ESCOs while helping grow the EPC market.
As a specialized organization, a Super ESCO possesses all necessary capacities to develop adapted EPC concepts and produce complete sets of documentation and a strong capacity to identify business opportunities in targeted markets.
The case of the SOFIAC, Canada The Société de financement et d’accompagnement en performance énergétique (SOFIAC, www.sofiac. ca) was launched in January 2020 as the first Super ESCO in Canada and likely one of the first, if not the first, in North America.
SOFIAC aims to offer a unique window to implement turnkey EE projects %100 financed through a shared savings approach proposed to its clients.
The objectives of SOFIAC are to :
- Carry out innovative energy efficiency projects through long- term agreements (10to15 years) to foster deep retrofits and significant
- Foster an efficient, profitable, and inclusive energy transition for the benefit of Quebec enterprises, the government, and the
- Increase the profitability and competitiveness of private- sector commercial and industrial enterprises by lowering energy
The main features of SOFIAC are the following:
- Initial available financing capacity of CAD
- Financial debt/equity leverage of: 4 to
An Innovative Business Model
SOFIAC Business Model
The SOFIAC service offer is quite unique and addresses all the barriers that prevent long-term investments in the needed energy transition and decarbonization efforts.
- Turnkey projects with minimal client involvement implemented by qualified ESCOs;
- %100 non-recourse financing adapted to EE projects in shared savings mode (without impact on the financing capacity of clients);
- Long-term agreements of up to 15 years;
- Subsidy request management and optimization;
- Open-book approach for cost optimization;
- Independent M&V
SOFIAC counts on various service providers involved in its overall service offer. These suppliers are preselected based on their proven, cutting-edge expertise and substantial
experience imprecise activities. These resources compete on the basis of their creativity, innovative
spirit, and professional rigor in managing EE projects. More specifically:
- Each service provider must follow a structured approach developed by SOFIAC and commit
to respecting the high level of quality required. Standardizing the processes developed by SOFIAC serves to reduce the costs of each service offered and ensures rapid and flawless execution.
- Each expert works independently, which ensures a plurality of ideas and enables SOFIAC to offer both solutions that maximize benefits for clients in each project and the most profitable solutions without any investment on their part. After the first six months of operation, SOFIAC already developed a project pipeline of nearly CAD 100 M mostly in the industrial
However, there were also some interesting projects in the commercial sector whose market actors welcomed the SOFIAC service offer and long-term vision of implementing financially viable retrofits and decarbonizing their operations.
President of ECONOLER