A model for energy performance contracting (EPC) in Hong Kong

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

A model for energy performance contracting (EPC) in Hong Kong

 

Author: Lee, Pan
Title: A model for energy performance contracting (EPC) in Hong Kong
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2016
Subject: Buildings -- Energy conservation -- China -- Hong Kong.
Buildings -- China -- Hong Kong -- Management.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Building and Real Estate
Pages: xviii, 298 pages, 59 variously numbered pages : illustrations
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2890622
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/8483
Abstract: Buildings account for 40 percent of the world's energy use. Although a number of studies indicate that substantial energy savings can be achieved by implementing energy improvement projects in existing buildings, hesitations in project implementation are still observed around the world due to a lack of technological know-how and upfront capital. As such, Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) has been recognised as a means to tackle these problems, since Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) not only provide building owners (hosts) with the upfront capital for project implementation, but also promise a certain level of performance (savings in most cases) of energy conservation measures (ECMs) after retrofitting. Despite the fact that the EPC market is expected to grow continuously around the world, the take-up rate of EPC is still relatively low in Hong Kong. Several local studies found that (1) lack of awareness and experience; (2) legal and contractual complexities; and (3) project risks are the main reasons hindering the wider use of EPC in Hong Kong. This research aims to develop a clear, concise and comprehensive model of EPC for Hong Kong, specifically taking into account the risk assessment and contract management issues. The main objectives of this research are to (1) investigate the concerns and understanding of local building owners and Energy Service Companies on EPC; (2) develop suitable risk assessment approaches taking into account the probabilities of saving shortfalls based on different technical solutions of common energy retrofitting; (3) develop a set of EPC contract document templates for use in Hong Kong based on a study of international best practice and the local research findings; and (4) quantify the achievable amount of energy savings by assuming different take-up rates of EPC in Hong Kong.
The above objectives have been accomplished by using qualitative and quantitative methods, including literature reviews, interviews with EPC stakeholders, and two separate questionnaire surveys targeted at both hosts and ESCOs. A risk assessment approach was developed to evaluate the probability of energy saving shortfalls, taking into account variations in the influential parameters, including weather conditions, occupancy, operating hours, etc., during the post-retrofit period. The approach entails the deployment of methods including the use of a versatile building energy simulation program (e.g. EnergyPlus), correlation analysis and Monte Carlo simulation. Three case studies with different retrofitting measures, including chiller replacement, change of heat rejection system and lighting retrofit, were used to demonstrate the application of three similar probabilistic models for risk assessment to suit the different technologies involved. In addition, a comparative analysis of different standard forms of EPC contract in eight jurisdictions was conducted to reflect on the various treatments of common contractual issues in EPC projects. Based on the results of this analysis, an EPC contract template and associated guidance notes were developed for use in simple retrofitting works. Finally, the above results were consolidated into a generic model which was validated by industry experts and practitioners. The potential energy savings through EPC projects were estimated under different assumed take-up rates of EPC. The research has contributed to new knowledge of EPC project implementation in the following aspects: (1) the results of questionnaire surveys and interviews can help various stakeholders to better understand the current market development of EPC in Hong Kong, including the perceived benefits, the market barriers and the possible measures for enhancing the adoption of EPC; (2) the use of the proposed risk assessment approach would enable hosts and ESCOs to quantify the probabilities of energy saving shortfalls with different levels of guaranteed savings as promised by ESCOs; (3) the development of an EPC contract template can help contracting parties to reduce time and cost during the contract negotiation stage. The availability of such a template is pertinent when the hosts have no competent in-house engineering teams and legal representation; and (4) the consolidated generic model enables hosts and ESCOs to identify and address the key issues when implementing EPC projects, starting from the stage of pre-retrofit, through installation to post-retrofit. Being informed by this comprehensive EPC model, it is expected that more building owners in Hong Kong will consider using EPC as a viable alternative to undertake energy retrofitting works, thereby improving overall energy performance of buildings.

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