Czech monumental building of the National Theatre successfully used financial instrument in form of energy performance contracting (EPC)
The EPC (energy performance contracting) method was used to modernize the energy systems of the National Theatre in Prague. It was an ambitious project aiming at a significant and lasting reduction in the consumption of natural gas, electricity and water, as well as the use of renewable energy sources (solar energy and energy contained in the Vltava river). The problem addressed by this method was big energy losses in this old monumental building.
The modernization, which took place in 2007, brought a reduction in energy more than 50%. The goal was not only to replace obsolete technology, but through interlacing and tuning of the whole technological system to gain maximum savings from the modernization. Originally waste heat now heats up domestic water. The refrigeration machine can be used as a heat pump (depending on the weather and the needs of the user), but it can automatically re-heat the heat from the sunny rooms to colder rooms. Warm air from the auditorium is used to heat the fresh air supplied, the amount of which regulates CO2 sensors in halls.
Main beneficiary is the National Theatre that saves on energy, its employees who have ensured optimal comfort and also the visitors of the theatre. Also there are positive externalities in savings of energy and CO2 emissions for all inhabitants of Prague.

Resources needed

At the National Theater, EUR 3 million was invested to date. Investment is paid by the guaranteed savings for this project, that was EUR 400 000 a year. The duration of the project is 10 years and was funded on a commercial basis by the EPC.

Evidence of success

Since 2011, savings have been more than 50% of the original energy costs, the ESCO company ENESA guarantees savings of at least EUR 400 000 a year. The practice was so successful that after first round of energy efficiency measures that brought EUR 800 000 in energy savings in 3 years (approximately EUR 260 000 per year), the project was enhanced with other EE measures which raised the energy savings to cca EUR 420 000 per year.

Difficulties encountered

It had to be applied only such energy efficiency measures which do not disturb the appearence of the building as it is located in Prague's historical city centre.

Potential for learning or transfer

The National Theater is a historical building in the center of Prague and its energy intensity was perceived as a necessary tax for the protection of monument protection. With this project, it is clear that even historic buildings without major interventions can provide a set of appropriate measures to reduce energy consumption using appropriate financial instruments. For this project, the EPC tool. Another benefit of the project is that the life of the installed measures is at least twice the time required to repay the input costs. After the installments are terminated, the customer will remain in the budget for the entire savings achieved. Environmental benefits are an accompanying effect for EPC projects. Economics and ecology are not in a contradictory position here.

Please login to see the expert opinion of this good practice.

Main institution
Prague City Hall, Europeans Fund Deparment
Praha, Czech Republic (Česká Republika)
Start Date
January 2007
End Date
January 2017


Eva Lepšová Please login to contact the author.

Good Practices being followed by

Ester Silva

Intermunicipal Community of Tâmega and Sousa