Citation: Doukas, Η. (2018). On the appraisal of “Triple-A” energy efficiency investments, Energy Sources, Part B: Economics, Planning, and Policy, 13:7, 320-327, DOI: 10.1080/15567249.2018.1494763.

Description: Traditional investment institutions lack the technical understanding of the essence of energy efficiency investments. This often creates a lack of trust to such investments, which acts as a barrier to including energy efficiency projects in the investment portfolio, even though such investments are often robust and have a guaranteed return. Mainstreaming energy efficiency finance remains still a challenge. This paper proposes a decision support framework for identifying “Triple-A” energy efficiency investments, aiming to reduce the respective time and effort required at the early stage of the project conceptualization as well as increase transparency and efficiency of decision making. The “Triple-A” investments are the ones that successfully pass the proposed three-step approach, namely Assess – Agree – Assign. By elaborating a meta-analysis on the De-risking Energy Efficiency Platform available data, first insights from the adoption of such an approach are derived. Moreover, future directions are presented and discussed.

Citation: Karakosta, C., Papapostolou, A., Vasileiou, G., Psarras, J. (2021). Financial Schemes for Energy Efficiency Projects: Lessons Learnt from In-Country Demonstrations. Energy Services Fundamentals and Financing. Edited by: David Borge-Diez and Enrique Rosales-Asensio. USA: Academic Press, Elsevier, ISBN: 9780128205921,, pp 55-78

Description: Traditional investment institutions face a lack of understanding regarding the technical aspects of energy efficiency investments. Indeed, due to the heterogeneity of such investments and to the immaturity of the market the entry into this business is unattractive for many financial institutions, although energy efficiency projects can often present a guaranteed return. The aim of this paper is to propose a methodological framework on energy efficiency investments and robust financing programs/models in targeted case study countries that will act as first-of-a-kind demonstration for the banks, institutional investors and asset managers, with the use of approaches based on knowledge transfer and capacity building among key actors. The experience gathered from in-country demonstration will also facilitate and accelerate the replicability, while findings could then be used to lead to concrete recommendations towards a successfully energy efficiency financing.

Citation: Triple-A, SENSEI, LAUNCH, AmBIENCe, NOVICE, QUEST and U-CERT (2020). Seven Horizon2020 projects advise EU leaders how to prepare buildings for the energy transition. Briefing Note, H2020 project Triple-A.

Description: The transition to a forward-looking climate neutral economy, announced in the European Green Deal, demands an action plan where public and private sector investments are channeled towards climate-friendly technologies and business models. To support this transition, Triple-A, together with 6 H2020 projects – SENSEI, LAUNCH, AmBIENCe, NOVICE, QUEST and U-CERT have drafted recommendations in a letter to policymakers, based on all projects’ findings and objectives, investigating ways to enable the mass adoption of energy efficiency measures and smart technologies supporting the uptake of more renewable energy sources. This is being done through the development of tools and methodologies that include enabling ESCOs to develop demand response functionalities, improving and standardizing measurement and verification methods, de-risking and attracting private investments, creating new business models and expanding markets, as well as transforming energy efficiency and demand response into energy resources for TSOs and DSOs. The policy recommendations are gathered under 4 generic themes: electricity market reform, financing methods, technical streamlining and energy performance certification. They are derived through an in-depth understanding of the social, technical, economic, and environmental dimensions of the energy transition, as viewed from the academic, business and policy perspectives of the contributing projects, all funded by the Horizon 2020 programme. While these recommendations are well supported by research, they need to be complemented by the democratic and effective engagement of all actors involved in the value chain to realize the intended results.

Citation: Papapostolou, A., Karakosta, C., Mylona, Z., Psarras, J. (2020). Financing Sustainable Energy Efficiency Projects: The Role of Stakeholders. Book of Proceedings of the XIV Balkan Conference on Operational Research, Operational Research in the Era of Digital Transformation and Business Analytics, 30 September - 3 October 2020, Thessaloniki, Greece, (pp. 116-120), ISBN – 978-618-85079-0-6.

Description: Energy efficiency finance is considered of outmost importance for the achievement of the European Union’s (EU) energy and climate objectives for 2030 and beyond. However, it remains a challenge how to identify which investments could foster sustainable growth, while also having the capacity to meet their commitments from the first stages of investments generation. In the meanwhile, stakeholder engagement is becoming an important component aiming to enlighten the gap of all policy and decision support processes. The aim of this study is to develop a concrete methodological approach that aims at involving highly relevant stakeholders, gathering their input and/ or training them in terms of energy efficiency financing. The key actors are identified among all the relevant stakeholder groups, while their roles, interest, motives and power are analysed. The main challenge to be addressed towards this direction is how to ensure the necessary consultation with financial institutional bodies and market operators at national and EU level, which is fundamental for achieving a successful finance of energy efficiency projects. Finally, the study could serve as an analytical guide on the development of a stakeholder engagement plan that could effectively exploit the broad scope of the financial instruments and various experiences of the market actors including their required knowledge and skills towards the energy efficiency investments financing.

Citation: Papapostolou, A., Mexis, F. D., Sarmas, E., Karakosta, C., Psarras, J. (2020). Web-based Application for Screening Energy Efficiency Investments: A MCDA Approach. 11th International Conference on Information, Intelligence, Systems and Applications (IISA), 15-17 July 2020, Piraeus, Greece, pp. 1-7, doi: 10.1109/IISA50023.2020.9284403.

Description: Energy Efficiency (EE) has been identified as one of the most cost-effective means aiming at reducing energy consumption while maintaining an equivalent level of economic activity. Mainstreaming EE financing is considered a key priority to avert climate change. The lack of evidence on the performance, commonly agreed procedures and standards for EE investments, particularly during the first stages of investment generation and pre-selection/pre-evaluation, are the key problems hampering EE investment financing. It is also true that often project developers do not have the expertise or resources to make a convincing financing case for investors. In order to boost EE investments, this paper proposes a Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) methodology intending to support financing institutions to identify attractive EE project ideas in the early development phase of project initiation and planning. The study implements the ELECTRE TRI method to benchmark EE project ideas in a standardized, investor recognizable credit rating form. A respective web-based tool facilitating the methodology and the screening of EE projects is also developed, supporting financing bodies and EE funds to rapidly detect and aggregate projects that meet the necessary criteria to be financed.

Citation: Loureiro T., Gil M., Desmaris R., Andaloro A., Karakosta C., Plesser S.(2020). De-Risking Energy Efficiency Investments through Innovation. Proceedings 2020, 65, 3. 

Description: Three Horizon 2020 projects, EEnvest, Triple-A and QUEST, are exploring innovative approaches to de-risking energy efficiency investments, focusing on how to render those investments attractive to the financial sector. EEnvest aims to develop a platform in order to contribute to the risk reduction for building energy efficiency investments, Triple-A focuses on enhancing at an early stage the investment value chain of energy efficiency projects and, finally, QUEST wants to improve the quality of management investments in energy efficiency.

Citation:  Mexis F. D, Papapostolou A., Karakosta C., Doukas H. (2020). Fostering Energy Efficiency Investments at an Early Stage: A Standardized Toolbox. Book of Abstracts, 7th International Conference on Energy, Sustainability and Climate Change (ESCC 2020), 24-26 August, Skiathos, Greece.

Description: Energy efficiency (EE) is considered one of the major pathways to reduce carbon emissions. In this context, the ambitious energy policy targets for 2030 and 2050 create the need for upscaling the energy efficiency finance. The challenge lies in identifying and mainstreaming EE investments, fostering sustainable growth, already from the first stages of investments generation and pre-selection/ pre-evaluation. In order to make EE investments more transparent, predictable and attractive for financiers and project developers, this study introduces a three-step toolbox focused on the pre-screening process, where no standardization exists, supporting the identification of attractive project ideas. Within the first tool, which has a a Go / No-Go character, the project ideas are evaluated according their perceived risk profile taking into account the country, sector and project category. The second tool incorporates various existing or new risk, financial and other key performance indicators (KPIs), in order to identify and benchmark the most financially efficient projects that passed the first tool, using a multicriteria classification method. Finally, at the third tool, beneficiaries of EE investments that seek financing instruments to support their project ideas are combined with financing bodies that search for a profitable portfolio of optimal projects to finance. This toolbox is expected to facilitate both project developers and financing institutions in selecting the most suitable, efficient and cost-effective project ideas according to their strategy and rules.

Citation: Papapostolou A., Karakosta C., Mexis F. D., Psarras J. (2020). Benchmarking Energy Efficiency Projects: A Multicriteria Approach. Book of Abstracts, 7th International Conference on Energy, Sustainability and Climate Change (ESCC 2020), 24-26 August, Skiathos, Greece.

Description: Nowadays, European Union (EU) considers Energy Efficiency (ΕE) as one of its main pillars in order to reduce pollution and energy imports. The recently released Technical Expert Group (TEG) report on EU Taxonomy is a guide to green development, in continuance to EU’s focus on reducing carbon emissions, scale down energy consumption and secure European energy autarky. However, to the best of our knowledge hardly any standardized or integrated method supporting investors and financing institutes to identify highly efficient economic activities at an early stage that can unambiguously be considered environmentally green exist. In addition, investment benchmarking contributes in pointing out cost-effective and highly efficient EE project proposals, making them more attractive to investors by following a standardized procedure. In the above context, this paper presents a multi-criteria approach based on the Electre Tri method, which aims to benchmark EE investment ideas incorporating financial, environmental and risk criteria. The EE investments are classified into three classes: Triple-A, Reserved or Rejected, reflecting their capacity to achieve environmental and financial goals, while stakeholders engagement will play a crucial role in this proposed approach. The profiles of the benchmarking classes and the criteria thresholds will be formed through a stakeholder consultation process, in order to be harmonized with the requirements and the specifications of investors, financing institutes and green financing instruments. The benchmarks obtained by the multicriteria method could facilitate decision makers in reducing uncertainty involved with EE investments, and support investors and financing institutes to target their capital towards green financing.

Citation: F.D. Mexis, A. Papapostolou, C. Karakosta, E. Sarmas, D. Koutsandreas, H. Doukas. Leveraging Energy Efficiency Investments: An Innovative Web-based Benchmarking Tool, Advances in Science, Technology and Engineering Systems Journal, vol. 6, no. 5, pp. 237-248 (2021).

Description: Energy Efficiency (EE) plays a key role in decreasing energy consumption at a European level, while it is considered as one of the most cost-efficient means to achieve carbon reduction and reinforce energy sufficiency and security. EE financing is imperative to implement measures that will lead to achieving the desired carbon neutrality and, thus, avert climate change. The majority of EE investments ideas are abandoned during the first stages of investment generation as there is not enough interest by the involved actors to support the maturing of the idea. The present paper aims to boost EE investments by developing a web-based Tool that evaluates project ideas, connecting them with real financing proposals. All the above are being realised through standardised procedures, establishing a concrete typology of five (5) EE sectors, a well-structured risk assessment methodology of five (5) risk categories and (9) risk factors, and a benchmarking procedure that takes into account four (4) broadly used economic criteria and eleven (11) verified sustainability indicators. All the parameters are calculated using the candidate project data and EU official statistics, formulated into four (4) main criteria that are fed into a MultiCriteria Decision Analysis that performs the project’s benchmarking. The presented methodology is being practically tested through the development of three (3) innovative Tools (Assess, Agree, Assign) and a stakeholder consultation process with around 200 participants. The Tools filter and benchmark candidate project ideas, based on the standardised benchmarking and the EU Taxonomy sustainability principles, while connecting the most promising project ideas with state-of-the-art financing methods, such as the Green Loans, the Green Bonds and the Energy Efficiency Auctions. By this token, the developed Tools provenly provide added value to the respective stakeholders, offering standardisation in EE project benchmarking and financing, building trust between investors and projects developers.