Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) Toolkit

Introduction to the ESPC Accelerator

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) Accelerator was a three-year partnership (2013-2016) with states, local governments, and K-12 schools to expand access to performance contracting. DOE worked with 25 state and local agencies to develop solutions for the most common barriers to ESPC, leveraging innovative and best-practice approaches for success. As a result, the ESPC Accelerator catalyzed public-sector energy efficiency investments of more than $2 billion during the Accelerator and left a legacy of valuable tools and resources to support ESPC into the future.

Why Performance Contracting Is Important

Many public agencies are striving to reduce their energy and water use and costs and meet other “lead-by-example” goals while facing limited budgets. ESPC is a contracting and financing method that provides upfront financing for energy efficiency projects that is repaid by the guaranteed savings on utility bills resulting from the upgrades. The ESPC mechanism can enable energy efficiency projects in the state and local market to move forward that might not otherwise.

The use of performance contracting has expanded in recent years, and public-sector ESPC projects have demonstrated average energy savings of 13% to 31%. Opportunities remain, however, to capture the full potential of this mechanism, and Accelerator partners explored ways to enable greater access to ESPC: standardizing and leveraging ESPC project data, streamlining the ESPC process, establishing ESPC as the go-to vehicle for advancing energy efficiency projects, using innovative approaches for applying ESPC in new market sectors, measuring project results, and telling the ESPC success story.

The ESPC Toolkit

The ESPC Toolkit is a collection of resources that will enable state and local communities to learn and benefit from the work of the ESPC Accelerator. It includes the best practices and innovative approaches that states, cities, and K-12 schools have used to successfully establish and implement performance contracting. Resources are grouped so that potential users of the mechanism can easily find the information they need at each stage of their ESPC decision-making process.