Support System: Establishing an ESPC Program

By Alison Berry, RE Tech Advisors on Jun 05, 2018

This blog is part 3 of our 5-part series exploring DOE’s ESPC Toolkit. The ESPC Accelerator was a 3-year partnership of states, local governments, and K-12 schools to expand access to energy savings performance contracting, or ESPC. ESPC is a financing mechanism that provides upfront capital for energy efficiency projects, which is then repaid by the guaranteed savings on utility bills resulting from the upgrades. Check out part 1 and part 2.

The latest entry in our ESPC series is about setting up an ESPC program as a support network for successful ESPC projects. States and local governments can establish performance contracting as the go-to financing mechanism for their energy efficiency projects by providing a range of support services to project owners. Some state and local governments offer technical assistance to ESPC practitioners and/or build networks of advocates among key stakeholders. Once a solid infrastructure for ESPC is in place, it becomes easier to take advantage of the benefits on a regular basis.

Here’s what you’ll find in Establishing a Program:

ESPC Key Attributes – This document is the result of research conducted by the Energy Services Coalition, a public-private partnership with the mission to promote ESPC. The list identifies key conditions present in states with high levels of performance contracting.

Guidelines for Establishing ESPC Support Programs – This document is a step-by-step guide to establishing, staffing, and overseeing a program at the state or local level that offers technical assistance for project owners implementing ESPC.

Virtual Technical Assistant for download – The document version of the Virtual Technical Assistant available in the Implementing ESPC Projects section of the Toolkit, the content here is intended for download, customization, and programming on state and local ESPC program websites to provide interactive assistance for ESPC project owners.

Networking Toolkit – This toolkit is a set of resource templates for state and local governments to build and maintain a network of stakeholders that support and promote energy savings performance contracting.

Champions Toolkit – This toolkit is a set of resource templates for state and local governments to develop and run a corps of energy efficiency champions that can support regular development and implementation of ESPC projects.

State ESPC Program Examples:

  • Massachusetts Clean Energy Investment Program: Massachusetts designed a state program that develops energy efficiency projects for state agencies, sets up the ESPC structure for financing, and oversees the project from beginning to end.
  • Minnesota Guaranteed Energy Savings Program: Minnesota created the Guaranteed Energy Savings Program (GESP), a state-led initiative to deliver technical, financial, and contractual assistance to state agencies to support the implementation of ESPC

Learn more about the Better Buildings Energy Savings Performance Contracting Toolkit and don’t forget to register for our series of ESPC webinars (and watch the previous ones). Keep your eyes peeled for our next blog installment, Expanding ESPC to New Markets.