Photo illustration by Marchmeena,

NAESCO Sees Opportunity in Federal Energy Efficiency and Infrastructure Improvement Event

March 24, 2020
The day-long conference was punctuated by presentations and panels from key industry leaders and ranking federal officials.

The National Association of Energy Service Companies (NAESCO) convened NAESCO member and non-member energy service companies (ESCOs), suppliers and federal officials for its 2020 Federal Market Workshop on March 12, 2020.

“The federal energy efficiency and infrastructure marketplace is one of the largest for energy service providers, and we understand that accessing and successfully navigating this sector is crucial for our members,” said NAESCO executive director Dr. Timothy Unruh. “Providing our valued members and guests with the actionable steps and tools they need to accomplish that is a responsibility we take seriously.”

The day-long conference was punctuated by presentations and panels from key industry leaders and ranking federal officials.

“Investors, government agencies and other consumers are increasingly placing a premium upon energy efficiency technologies and processes,” said Katie McGinty, the day’s keynote and global vice president of government relations for Johnson Controls. “It’s clear that, in order to respond to these changing preferences, energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) will remain vital.”

McGinty’s prediction was also reflected in comments made by several of McGinty’s counterparts, including Skye Schell, supervisor at the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program, who noted that “energy efficiency is becoming a greater concern among U.S. government agencies, and we recognize that ESPCs will be necessary as we work to adapt to these new prerogatives.” Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy & Sustainability of the Army Jack Surash concurred and explained that “at the U.S. Army, we focus on resiliency, efficiency, and affordability through ESPCs.”

“Grid-interactive Efficient Buildings promise improved resiliency and cost savings, and both are priorities for the Department of Defense (DoD) and General Services Administration (GSA),” added GSA Center for Emerging Buildings Technology Director Kevin Powell. “This presents considerable opportunity space for ESCO project financing.”

According to Dale Hahs, technical assistance provider at the Energy Services Coalition, updates to eProject Builder are being made to ease the project data input for state and local governments, as well as improved storage of project data files. He also emphasized the need for data to ensure proper and detailed reporting of results.

“There's a misconception among some procurement officials that the value of ESPCs is difficult to verify,” U.S. Coast Guard Office of Energy Management Chief Sam Alvord acknowledged. “In reality, ESPCs have a demonstrated record of reducing energy use and in turn, cost and emissions.” He noted that ESPC based projects have savings of 108% of the guarantee, while appropriation funded projects only save about 67% of expectation.

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