On 21 October 2004 a delegation of Belarusian specialists came back from a familiarization trip to Kiev (Ukraine). Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Energy Efficiency at the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus Mr. R.R. Shirma was the head of the group. Manager of the Project “Developing Energy Saving Service Companies (ESCOs) in the Republic of Belarus” Mr. A. Iqbal, Director of RCTT Mr. A. Uspenskiy were among the delegates. The trip was held within the framework of the Project "Development of Energy Saving Service Companies (ESCOs) in the Republic of Belarus” sponsored by the World Bank and running under the aegis of the Committee on Energy Efficiency at the Council of Ministers of Belarus. The purposes of the trip were to learn the experience of creation and activity of UkrESCO and to visit the entities where UkrESCO’s projects had been realized.
The trip of the Belarusian delegation was preceded by a seminar dedicated to the topic "Making the Conditions that Make for Creation and Activity of Energy Saving Service Companies in the Republic of Belarus'". The event was held in Minsk on 18 October 2004, within the framework of the aforementioned project of the World Bank. During the seminar Mr. A. Uspenskiy, RCTT’s Director, made his report "Experience in Creation and Activity of the Republican Centre for Technology Transfer in Belarus".
Energy saving service companies are brand new commercial entities to Belarus. ESKOs are the type of companies that render a scope services meant to cut their clients’ expenditure for the energy resource consumption, both in the public and private economy sectors. The customers gain such savings when the companies fulfil certain contract works poised at energy saving and higher efficiency of energy consumption.
The basic principle of any ESCO’s activity is that with its own and assets or raised (investment) funds it ensures financing energy-saving measures at its client’s site in order to achieve a certain level of energy saving. These companies guarantee that the amounts invested will be sufficiently overpaid with the financial sources coming from the decreased power consumption expenditure, which makes ESCOs fundamentally different from other similar companies.
During the trip the Belarusian delegates met the key policy makers from the State Committee on the Energy Saving of Ukraine”, representatives of UkrESKO and some enterprises involved in ESCO-related projects. With reference to the experience acquired, the Belarusian specialists considered an array of options and alternative solutions for establishment of energy saving service companies in Belarus and some patterns for interaction between ESCOs and RCTT.