Maximizing Value in an Energy Performance Contract
CSArch supports Energy Performance Contracting for public school districts to realize long-term energy savings.
As an integrated architecture and engineering firm, CSArch supports Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) for public school districts, particularly for the potential to modernize building systems and realize long-term energy savings while limiting the use of capital bond funding. While EPCs allow school districts to complete energy savings projects with little or no up-front expenditures, knowing the common pitfalls and how to best avoid them is critical to a successful project.
The common problem with EPCs
All to often, EPCs are developed by contractors or equipment suppliers with little knowledge of the facilities, resulting in energy savings that are estimated or speculative. Common EPCs often proceed as though one building system has no influence over another. For example, a lighting company advocates for LED lighting, an HVAC company pushes for more efficient equipment, and a solar company only knows photovoltaics. So, who makes clear that the level of investment in one will directly affect the level of investment needed in the other, and who ensures all of these new systems work together?
The results of these EPCs are typically independently designed and implemented conservation measures without real measured savings to the benefit of the district. And if executed during the same time as a capital project, conflicts and coordination issues typically arise.
The CSArch approach
By leveraging CSArch to lead both capital projects and energy performance projects, our clients can maximize the benefit and value of each by reducing overall costs and minimizing conflict between projects. The CSArch preferred approach to an EPC is one where the scope is developed, designed, financed, implemented, measured and verified in close collaboration with a single energy services company (ESCO), a process sometimes called Integrated Energy Performance Contracting (IEPC).
A proper EPC avoids compartmentalization by taking a whole-building and/or district-wide approach. Our collaborative process with the district focuses on integrated, well-planned solution rather than one-for-one replacements. We ensure that all concurrent projects are in sync, optimize debt, and generate cash flows when necessary.