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The Flemish Energy Company will in future also supply the Flemish government with energy in addition to its investments in energy saving in 2015, according to its president Andries Gryffroy. By 2018 the Energy Company will purchase and supply 50% of its energy for Flemish government buildings and also supply local and provincial buildings. This translates as 1.5% of the total energy consumption in Flanders. It also has until 2017 to reduce the Flemish government’s energy bill by 31.5 million euros by making buildings more energy-efficient and purchasing cheaper energy. “We are making our contribution by saving millions of euros,” says Gryffroy. After its establishment fourteen months ago, Gryffroy understands the media’s impatience with Flemish Energy Company, but delays were caused by a vague and unspecific decree and a business plan that had to be drafted from scratch. According to Gryffroy, the upside of this vagueness was that things could go ahead without any meddling from the parliament and government. The company’s investments also had to meet strict European regulations to prevent it from being taken up in the Flemish budget. This autonomy created a new obstacle because the Flemish government had to honour the tender act for government assignments. Here the solution was found in including energy-saving and supplier commissions in the budget whereas the Energy Company’s investment commissions fall outside the budget. Indeed, as an industrial investor, the Energy Company will also participate in companies that specialize in renewable energy technologies, with submarine mills or energy storage techniques, for which a budget of 181.6 million euros has so far been set aside until 2017. The Energy Company will also reduce the energy consumption in government buildings and appoint a private investor for the renovation works in a number of buildings. Gryffroy knows full well that he has to improve the perception of the Energy Company, as he convinced the government to invest in it on behalf of the N-VA party. Therefore he is eager to produce results as in addition to his role as president of the Energy Company and manager of the energy advisory bureau Erbeko, he is also the party secretary of the N-VA.
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