Energy contracting has a long tradition in Austria. In 2005, the renowned Austrian contracting providers formed the umbrella organization DECA “Dachverband Energie-Contracting Austria”. At the end of 2012, the corporate platform was also formed as a separate legal entity (association) under the new name “Dienstleister Energieeffizienz und Contracting Austria” (Service Provider Energy Efficiency and Contracting Austria) – this addresses all companies offering high-quality services for increasing energy efficiency and the increased use of renewable energy in Austria.
In Austria there are several initiatives to establish quality criteria on the market:
- Since 2003, the Austrian Eco-label for Energy Contracting has been in force.
- In 2013 the DECA (Service Provider Energy Efficiency and Contracting Austria) was founded with the aim of quality assurance on the Austrian energy service market.
- The Graz Energy Agency has developed the “Thermoprofit” brand, which it offers together with its business partners in the Austrian provinces.
Contracting providers mostly come from the fields of building technology and automation, control and regulation technology, energy supply and civil engineering offices. They have to have the necessary planning, energy technology and interdisciplinary know-how to act as a general contractor and ensure comprehensive energy (and, if necessary, structural) refurbishment of the building to a high standard of quality. The most common measures that have been carried out are replacement of boilers and optimisation of heating control systems, energy-efficient lighting, optimization of ventilation and cooling, heat recovery, optimization of room temperature, tariff optimisation, thermal insulation of facades, top and bottom storey ceilings and use of renewable energies (e.g. solar power or solar heat). Many public buildings, such as schools and kindergartens have been optimised and renovated through energy contracting. While many public buildings have been renovated through energy contracting, the number of renovated residential buildings is low. Most of the renovated buildings are social buildings, which have the provinces as owners. In the private sector the situation is different because of the ownership structure. In these cases the renovation is generally done if there is enough budget to carry out the renovation.