The Malta Independent 19 September 2019, Thursday

MBB announces Business Energy Cluster

Wednesday, 7 August 2019, 10:25 Last update: about 2 months ago

At a conference at the Malta Life Sciences Park, moderated by MBB CEO Joe Tanti, the Malta Business Bureau announced the setting up of business clusters for energy efficiency.

Discussing lessons learned during the Investing in Energy Project (2017-2019), Mr. Tanti stated that "while certain energy efficiency projects were well within many businesses' grasp, there were others with which businesses encountered barriers to implementation. The barriers include difficulties in sourcing specific technical expertise, financing of larger projects, and administrative or bureaucratic hurdles." To tackle these issues, the MBB encouraged businesses to come forward with their desired projects for implementation and the barriers they are encountering. The MBB's national and international network would then be tapped to overcome barriers.

Manuel Sapiano, CEO Energy and Water Agency, opened the conference saying the topics chosen "fit perfectly with the series of initiatives the Energy and Water Agency has undertaken with the Malta Business Bureau".  Mr. Sapiano continued that it is extremely important that energy efficiency is not considered as just another target introduced by the European Union and which must be abided to, as energy efficiency means both a greener sector and lower operational costs.

Perit David Xuereb, President of the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry, emphasized "Increased energy efficiency in the business sectors is a policy priority for Malta - European targets are ambitious, and businesses will need support if the country is to meet these targets. But energy efficiency is more than just a compliance measure - it is an important evolution in Malta's business sectors, towards increased commercial sustainability and ultimately higher productivity."

The event included a presentation by Veronica Corno, Climate Finance and Communications officer for Base-Energy, on Energy Savings Insurance (ESI). ESI insures the performance of energy efficiency projects. This is a potentially attractive risk mitigation measure for financiers of energy efficiency projects, or the businesses implementing them.

A panel discussion on energy efficiency project financing was also held, with Commercial Business Manager at APS Bank, Joseanne Gauci, EU & Institutional Affairs Executive at BOV, Mark Scicluna Bartoli, Leader Financial Advisory at Deloitte Malta, Raphael Aloisio, Director-General of PPCD, Jonathan Vassallo, and Managing Director at HSBC Global Asset Management (Malta), Wayne Spiteri. The panel discussed changes in demand for financing of energy efficiency projects by businesses and the relation of these changes to the 2014 transposition of the Energy Efficiency Directive, as well as insights into future financing opportunities, and what additional data or information is needed by financiers to drive financial packages facilitating the meeting of ambitious 2030 EU energy efficiency targets.

Closing the event, MBB President Simon De Cesare emphasized the MBB's intentions with regards to supporting energy efficiency in business. "There are barriers to advancement in energy efficiency practice. An approach involving the grouping of businesses with similar projects, even if they are from different sectors, could provide us with increased leverage to address common barriers. This approach would have to be very focused on individual contact and understanding specific individual businesses' needs."

This event was also carried out as part of the Energy Efficiency Partner Initiative (EEPI - note 1). Through the EEPI, businesses sign a voluntary agreement to regularly take energy efficiency action, share their information with the Energy and Water Agency, and share best practice.

The EEPI is one of the ways in which industry can support the national, EU and global drive towards reduced emissions. Measures undertaken by EEPI business signatories are reflected in the national action plans (2) and reporting submitted to the European Commission as part of various legislative obligations. Around 30% of Malta's largest companies (non-SMEs) are EEPI signatories. The EEPI is managed by the Energy and Water Agency and supported by the MBB and the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry.

The event was organised with the support of the Energy and Water Agency and the Malta Life Sciences Park. 


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