Implementing Efficiency Improvements with Energy Performance Contracts

September 17, 2008

Energy Performance Contracts are the main vehicle through which energy services companies (ESCOs) implement energy efficiency improvements for facility owners and managers. With electricity, fuel oil, natural gas and water prices all tending upwards, owners and operators of facilities are seeking ways to curtail energy usage. Today buildings and structures represent 39 percent of total energy use in the United States, 68 percent of electrical consumption and 38 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. With carbon legislation pending in Congress and regional carbon trading schemes about to be implemented, it is important to note that the most immediate and significant way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States is to improve energy efficiency in existing structures. Improving energy efficiency in all sorts of facilities-commercial and residential buildings, campuses, hospitals, schools, industrial sites, airports and government buildings-is not only good cost-control practice, it is the front line in the struggle to limit CO2 emissions, since half of all electrical output in the US comes from coal. This teleconference will describe how the energy performance contracting process works, from the initial audits to the detailed design work to the financing of the improvements, to their implementation and to the measurement and verification of savings. You will learn about typical energy conservation measures, with extra attention focused on the crux of the energy performance contract, the guarantee from the ESCO that the energy savings realized will be greater than the amortized cost of the capital improvements and what elements go into this equation. You will easily benefit from this discussion of how an energy performance contract works and what both the owner and the ESCO can expect from each other.

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