NAESCO News
NAESCO ADVOCACY INITIATIVES

NEWS FROM THE ASSOCIATION

INDUSTRY REPORTS

MEMBER NEWS

MEMBER PROJECTS

NEW PRODUCT AND SERVICES SHOWCASE

INDUSTRY NEWS

Platinum


 
Gold

Synergy

Walker Reid Strategies

 
Silver

Forest Lighting

Churchill Downs

NAESCO News

April 2016

NAESCO Advocacy Initiatives

News From the Association

Industry Reports

Member News

Member Projects

New Product and Services Showcase

Industry News


NAESCO Advocacy Initiatives

Advocacy Report

 
NAESCO’s advocacy work in 2016 is built around growing market opportunities for ESCOS and their  providers and partners. Key priorities include the following:

  • Ensuring that federal administrative policies continue the high level of performance contracting work generated by the President’s aggregate target of $4 billion of projects;
  • Supporting national and state policy initiatives that will boost energy efficiency and performance contracting;
  • Proactively advocating for ESCO business friendly laws, regulations, and guidelines, such as supporting the extension of federal tax deductions and credits that boost energy efficiency and performance contracting;
  • Defending ESCO enabling legislation or policies that are under attack; and,
  • Working to relieve the bottlenecks that are crippling state buildings ESPC programs in several states with large potential ESPC markets.

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Federal Issues

 
179D and Tax Reform

NAESCO has worked successfully for the last two years with a group of interested NAESCO members and the lobbying firms of Van Ness Feldman and Prime Policy Group to secure the extension of the Section 179D deductions for energy efficiency work in commercial buildings. NAESCO held multiple Congressional lobbying days in 2014-2015 meeting with over 100 offices, Republicans and Democrats, and helped to obtain a one year extension for 2014 and a two year extension for 2015-16. We have formed a group for 2016 to work to ensure that the 179D deduction is preserved as part of any tax reform legislation considered this session or, at a minimum, is contained in a year- end tax extenders package.

Section 111 D of the Clean Air Act (Clean Power Plan)
NAESCO has joined a group of ten ESCOs that developed a substantial White Paper and a formal comment document on the proposed rule for submittal to the EPA in 2014.  The EPA, in response to the efforts of these ESCOs and our consultant (AJW) formally recognized the role of performance contracting as a distinct vehicle for delivering energy efficiency and said it would work with the industry to establish the infrastructure required for ESCOs to obtain credit for the emissions reductions their projects produce and to trade the credits in national or state exchanges. NAESCO submitted comments on the Federal Implementation Plan (for states that decide not to implement their own plan) and on energy efficiency EM&V on January 21.

PACENation
NAESCO now has a seat on the board of PACENation, a national organization which is promoting the adoption of high-quality PACE programs across the country. We believe that there may be significant potential for PACE to expand the ESCO market.

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State Advocacy Issues

During 2015, NAESCO’s state advocacy efforts were divided between defending against legislative attempts to cripple successful ESPC programs and working proactively to expand ESPC programs in states that have significant unrealized market potential. We expect to continue working in states where we have been active in 2015 as well as focusing on additional states where ESCO and energy efficiency business issues arise.

California - Legislation and Regulatory Proceedings

AB 802
In California, NAESCO and other parties have argued for the last decade that the existing CPUC policy frustrated the state’s energy resource policy (the “loading order”) that utilities should procure all cost effective energy efficiency before procuring other resources. On September 11, 2015, the California legislature passed AB 802, which will dramatically expand the scope of the incentives available for California EE projects, by changing the baseline from which project savings are calculated. The passage of AB 802 requires that the California EE programs be extensively reworked by September 1, 2016 and participation in this effort will be a priority for NAESCO. NAESCO has added a California lobbyist to focus on this effort.

R13-11-005 - Conclusion of Phase I (2015 Programs) and Beginning of Phase II (Rolling Cycle)
NAESCO submitted comments in Phase II of the Proposed Decision to prevent the superimposition of a cumbersome project and program administrative structure onto the simple mandate of AB 802.

Lack of Innovative Programs
The 2015 and 2016 utility EE program proposals appear to be continuing the trend for utilities to minimize funding for innovative third party residential and small business programs. NAESCO has urged in its comments that the CPUC order the utilities to substantially increase their funding for innovative programs now.

New York - Reforming the Energy Vision
The New York State Public Service Commission is in the middle of a proceeding to consider the future of the utility and NYSERDA energy efficiency programs and the NYSERDA R&D programs and EE financing programs. NYSERDA has published a draft proposal on which NAESCO has submitted comments. NAESCO is also participating on the PACE Advisory Board of the EnergizeNY financing program, and has been part of a group of national EE experts that reviewed key elements of the NYSERDA proposal. NAESCO expects that participation in the New York PSC proceedings will be a priority in 2016.

Illinois
In Illinois, NAESCO is supporting the Illinois EE coalition that is working to maintain the funding for public buildings EE projects. NAESCO is also part of a coalition that supports legislation that would expand the state’s EERS and RPS requirements, which appeared in the spring to be making progress, but has been postponed by the ongoing state budget crisis.

Kansas
NAESCO convened a working group of ESCOs to oppose KS HB 2418 which would effectively outlaw performance contracting in K-12 schools. NAESCO hired an experienced, Kansas-based lobbyist, and met with the sponsoring legislator. At his invitation, we proposed modifications to HB 2418 that would deal with the problems he identified without crippling the ESCO industry. NAESCO testified before the legislative subcommittee that was charged with evaluating the bill. A second bill, HB 2703, surfaced at the end of the legislative session, also championed by the sponsor of HB 2418, which would severely limit the ability of state agencies, particularly universities, to issue bonds for major ESPC or 3P projects without legislative approval.

Mississippi
NAESCO is working with a group of member ESCOs to contest changes in the state performance contracting program rules that were imposed last summer without the proper administrative procedures. As a result of NAESCO actions, the Mississippi Development Authority in the early fall issued an RFI for best practices in performance contracting programs and recently issued for public comment some proposed rule changes. ESCOs are also promoting a new bill, HB 2536, that would more clearly define the administrative procedures for ESPC projects and would open up more opportunities for ESPC projects.

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News From the Association

Interview with W. Gregory Montgomery, Clean Source Capital, on using QECBs through the SAVES Green Community Programs

 
W. Gregory MontgomeryIn anticipation of the upcoming Technology & Financing Workshop session, Scaling Up the Model to Implement ECMs on a Greater Level, NAESCO asked Greg Montgomery some questions about financing ESPC projects using Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds, (QECBs) through the SAVES Green Community Programs. Greg has spent his career assisting privately-held business owners and entrepreneurs and their advisors in creating, growing, and capitalizing their businesses and monetizing the value in the same through devising and executing strategies in the capital markets. He has worked extensively with both financial parties, such as private equity groups, mezzanine lenders and senior lenders, as well as strategic parties, in executing transactions.

Prior to joining Abundant Power as a Managing Partner, Greg was the Founder and Managing Director of MCF Advisors in Charlotte, NC, a boutique investment banking firm providing mergers and acquisitions advice and capital formation strategies to privately-held middle market businesses. Previously he was the Managing Director of the Royal Bank of Canada's internal investment banking unit for its commercial banking operations based in Charlotte, NC, and prior to that a co-founder and Managing Director of Capital Investment Partners, a private investment banking firm focused on small to middle market transactions in Raleigh, NC. Previously, Greg practiced corporate and securities law in Raleigh, NC and Baltimore, MD. He received a JD/MBA from Tulane University, a BA in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia, and his preparatory education at the Hotchkiss School.

NAESCO: What are Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds, and how are they being used to finance energy efficiency projects?
 
GM: Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds ("QECBs") are an under-utilized financing tool available from the Federal Government to provide subsidized financing for a broad range of "energy conservation purposes", including energy efficiency, water conservation, renewable energy and alternative fuels.

A total of $3.2 billion in QECBs have been authorized by Congress since 2009, which in turn have been allocated to the fifty states based on population, with the larger states such as California and Texas receiving the largest allocations ($381M and $252M respectively) and the smaller states, the smallest (Wyoming $5M and Vermont $6M).

Despite the broad allowed uses of QECBs, only $1 billion of the available $3.2 billion in QECBs authorized have been used to date, leaving over $2 billion in subsidized financing available.  The reasons for this under-utilization are believed to be threefold: issuance constraints; perceived hurdles for using QECBs under QECB rules; state and local governments' reluctance to issue QECBs and take on additional debt.

QECBs are allocated to each state, with each state then sub-allocating portions of its total allocation out to counties and cities with populations in excess of 100,000 based on the proportion that local government's population represents to the state's total population. States then retain the balance of the allocation. QECBs are scattered across the country in various pockets at the state and local government levels, in various sized allocations from tens of millions of dollars to as small as one million dollars or less.

The total cost of funding for QECB-eligible projects can be substantially reduced over the life of the projects through subsidy payments offsetting the otherwise applicable interest cost. This subsidy is made available as a direct payment from the U.S. Treasury, calculated at the lesser of the actual interest rate on the financing or 70% of the qualified tax credit rate published by the IRS. The subsidy is paid in accordance with the debt service schedule fixed at the time of the financing.  Currently, this direct payment equates to approximately 3.0% based on the current published tax credit rate.

QECBs are used to finance energy efficiency projects, particularly energy service performance contracts for two primary reasons.

First, QCEBs enable communities and states to derive more impact from every dollar invested because the use of the subsidy to offset the interest cost may enable an increase in the scope of the work being performed or the long-lived nature of the assets being financed.

Second, QECBs can result in significant interest savings over time for the borrower because the subsidy can remain active in excess of 20 years (currently up to 29 years). Given the long-term nature of ESPC projects, the subsidy over the term of the associated loan leverages enormous savings.

NAESCO: Which states have set up SAVES Green Community Programs?  What have the results been for implementation of ESPC projects?

GM: CleanSource Capital and its affiliate Abundant Power Group have been instrumental in forming SAVES (Sustainable and Verifiable Energy Savings) Green Community Programs (GCPs) that fund projects through full utilization of available QECB allocations in localities across the US.

CleanSource has established three state-wide GCPs -- the South CarolinaSAVES Green Community Program, the VirginiaSAVES Green Community Program, and the North Carolina Agricultural Finance Authority Green Community Program.

The South Carolina SAVES has committed $28M in funding to date, of which $10M has been for two ESPC projects, $5M for a school district improving the school and administrative buildings belonging to the district and $5M for a county improving its county-owned buildings.  Virginia SAVES has committed $14.5M in funding, all of which has been used in 3 ESPC projects, $2.5M for a private K-12 school implementing measures in buildings across its campus, $3.3M and $8.7M for two school districts in two rural counties.  The North Carolina Green Community Program has committed $20M in funding for renewable energy in conjunction with farmland within the State.

These positive impacts are possible in part because the QECB legislation specifically authorizes state and local governments to create GCPs that unlock several benefits, including:

  • Loan programs - QECB allocations can be used to fund a GCP loan program for implementing a broad scope of "energy conservation purposes" using loan fund proceeds.
  • Efficiencies - Aggregating allocations into a GCP enables economies of scale obtained through standard documentation and procedures that overcome the hurdle of the disaggregated allocations.
  • Barrier mitigation - Some hindrances under QECP rules are removed, such as the need for a 20% savings test in public buildings or the private activity bond limitation of 30% because neither rule applies when a project is funded through a GCP.
  • Credit integrity - By using a conduit issuance structure in conjunction with the GCP funding, the general obligation or credit of the State or Local Government is not at risk as each project is underwritten and the credit stands on its own in the case of private projects. GCPs were specifically authorized to provide broad flexibility and discretion on the part of the allocating state or local government in using its QECB allocations to address these issues and more.

NAESCO: There are plans to create a national program using QECBs.  How would this work?

GM: CleanSource Capital has launched the AmeriSAVES National Green Community Program, a national Green Community Program to promote and enable qualified conservation purposes across the United States. AmeriSaves has partnered with an authorized national conduit issuer to set up GCPs and issue QECBs for projects in states where there is not already a readily available specific conduit issuer. AmeriSAVES will help state and large local governments unlock the benefits of underutilized QECBs.

These State GCPs will further public priorities, advance qualified conservation purposes broadly and be open to the public. AmeriSaves will help market state GCPs, originate projects, and help match projects to funding on behalf of public and private sponsors.

Project funding through state GCPs will be provided on a negotiated, private placement basis with institutional investors such as banks and equipment leasing companies.
 
NAESCO: In your opinion, what other emerging financial products would help to expand the use of ESPCs?

GM: The one emerging financial products that CleanSource is watching that could be used for ESPCs is Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) for private projects because of the relatively long-tenor of these financings.

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New Members

 
Blue Energy Group
Blue Energy Group works with clients across the United States to help them take advantage of the 179D tax deductions granted to building owners and designers of energy efficient systems. Their clients include architects, engineers, energy service companies, accounting firms, and building owners who seek to take advantage of the tax benefits allowed under Section 179D for energy efficient buildings.

Blue Energy Group

Hergy Lighting Technology Corp.
Hergy Lighting Technology Corp. has many years' experience in high power LED module/luminaire development. With thermal, optical, electrical and mechanical design and manufacturing capabilities, Hergy has provided all kinds of LED module/luminaire development and production services to customers worldwide. All Hergy's LED modules/luminaires are developed and made in Taiwan and are in compliance with safety, IP and ROHS requirements. Developed products include LED module/luminaire for both indoor and outdoor use such as LED streetlights, bay lights, flood lights, garage lights, down lights, spotlights, and work lights, which have been qualified and used in many projects and applications.

Hergy Factory Bay Lighting Project in Taiwan
Hergy Factory Bay Lighting Project in Taiwan

Jaykal LED Solutions, Inc.
Jaykal LED Solutions provides cutting edge, energy efficient lighting solutions to commercial, industrial, and institutional organizations in the United States and abroad. With manufacturing facilities in the United States and China they are able to provide a broad product line with several fixtures exclusive to Jaykal, and meeting ARRA Buy American requirements. Jaykal's complete vertical integration; from engineering to manufacturing and distribution to financing, means they own or control each part of the sales process to ensure our clients receive the highest quality lighting products at the lowest possible prices.

Jaykal LED Solutions, Inc.
Jaykal project at Bethesda Crossing, Bethesda, MD -- 700,000 SF of retrofitted space, over $542,000 annual energy savings.

Perfection Group
Founded in 1951, Perfection Group, Inc. is an industry leader that designs, installs, and services mechanical and environmental systems focusing on energy efficient facility operations for commercial, industrial and institutional customers. Perfection Group, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, operates in 5 states and runs 140 service vehicles and manages 220 associates.

Perfection Group
Perfection Group installs a new VRF system to replace chiller and refrigerant piping at the Boyle County Courthouse in Danville, KY.

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NAESCO Technology & Financing Workshop

June 1-2, 2016 - Louisville, KY
Capturing Innovation without Sacrificing Performance: How Technological and Financing Choices Shape Project Development and Implementation Today

NAESCO Technology & Financing Workshop

What is on the dual track agenda?
In order to highlight the host of changes, challenges, and opportunities when designing energy efficiency projects today for tomorrow, this workshop will feature two tracks on both Technology and Financing. Session topics include:

  • A regional report on state energy efficiency initiatives
  • Capturing whole-building and system wide savings
  • The economics of LEDs
  • The customer experience with innovative technologies
  • The impact of Dodd-Frank on Financing Energy Efficiency
  • The financing community reassesses M&V requirements
  • What does the Internet of Things Mean for energy efficiency?
  • Can PACE transform the commercial market for energy efficiency?
  • Another look at Off Balance Sheet Financing for public sector customers
  • Managing ESAs for the commercial and industrial market
  • Improving indoor air quality and promoting wellness as part of an ESPC retrofit
  • Financing ESPC projects using QECBs through the SAVES Green Community Programs

Confirmed Speakers

  • Kristofor Anderson, Program Manager, Energy Resources Division, Georgia Environmental Finance Authority
  • Michael Azzara, Account Executive, Siemens Industry, Inc. Building Technologies Division
  • Kurt Barrett, Intelligent Services Team Leader, Harshaw Trane
  • Lona Brewer, Environmental Scientist, Kentucky Department for Energy Development & Independence
  • George Caraghiaur, Principal, Energy & Sustainability Services LLC
  • Jack Curran, President, LED Transformations, LLC
  • Doug Golden, Director of Business Development, Metrus Energy
  • Bob Johnson, Senior Vice President, Hannon Armstrong
  • David Jump, Project Manager, kW Engineering
  • Dana Kose, Program Manager, The Weidt Group
  • Michael Matour, National Energy Manager, Lutron
  • Charles McGinnis, Senior Director, State Government-Higher Education, Johnson Controls
  • Janna Mino, Research Analyst, Energy Focus, Inc.
  • W. Greg Montgomery, Managing Director, Clean Source Capital
  • Stacey Paradis, Executive Director, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance
  • Rick Rodriguez, Sales Manager, Energy & Environmental Solutions, Siemens Industry, Inc.
  • Natasha Shah, Vice President, Southland Energy
  • Mark White, Managing Director, Bostonia Partners
  • Jon Zelinsky, Director, Contracting Market, Philips Lighting

Who should attend?
ESCO leaders, energy efficiency vendor representatives, EE and RE project financiers, policy makers, public administrators, utility energy efficiency program managers, customers working with ESCOs or contemplating an ESCO delivered energy efficiency retrofit, and innovative thought leaders in energy efficiency technology, design, and implementation.

Can my company help sponsor the Workshop?
Excellent sponsorship opportunities are available and more accessible than ever. A Workshop sponsorship is a visible demonstration of your corporate commitment to the ESCO industry and to the mission of NAESCO to promote the widespread use of energy efficiency.

Hotel information
Marriott Louisville Downtown
280 West Jefferson Street
Louisville, KY

Follow us on Twitter: @NAESCONews #NAESCOLouisville

NAESCO gratefully acknowledges the following Technology & Financing Workshop Sponsors:

Platinum

Energy Focus
     

 
Gold

      

 
Silver

Energy Systems Group

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Highlights from the 2016 Federal Market Workshop

NAESCO is pleased to report that the Federal Market Workshop, held in Washington, DC on March 10, was one of the largest and most successful workshops in its eleven year history, thanks to the enthusiastic support of the sponsors, a top-notch program with speakers and topics attracting a wide range of companies, and ample networking opportunities.

The keynote was given by White House Chief Sustainability Officer on Environmental Quality, Christine Harada. A Bloomberg BNA article, about the Federal Market Workshop, highlights some of the panel discussions and Harada's speech addressing President Obama's challenge to the government to sign $4 billion worth of energy efficiency contracts by the end of 2016.  So far, agencies have awarded $2.5 billion in contracts to energy service companies, resulting in a 930,000-ton reduction to the government's carbon footprint.

Terry E. Singer, NAESCO Executive Director, said "We were very pleased to have welcomed an outstanding group of speakers who provided the audience with an up to the minute report on the various federal initiatives underway to accelerate the use of energy efficiency at federal buildings through ESPCs and UESCs."

NAESCO gratefully acknowledges our Federal Workshop Sponsors:

Platinum - Networking Lunch


Ameresco

 
Gold - Continental Welcome Breakfast

Southland Energy

 
Silver - Workshop App Sponsor

PEPCO Energy Services
Conedison Johnson Controls

 
Bronze

EDF Renewable Energy   
 GreenTech Energy Services    

 
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Save the Dates! NAESCO Annual Conference & Vendor Showcase

November 15-17, 2016, Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel, Phoenix, AZ

NAESCO Annual Conference & Vendor Showcase

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Accredited Member Spotlight - Harshaw Trane

Accredited by NAESCO in 2015, Kentucky-based Harshaw Trane is one of the state's largest and most experienced ESCOs. In business for 40 years, Harshaw Trane continues to be committed to sustainability across all areas of its business, from the environments its energy experts create to lasting partnerships with clients. Named an ENERGY STAR Executive member, 53% of the Commonwealth's 2015 ENERGY STAR buildings were submitted by Harshaw Trane.

Harshaw Trane is a professional services company that delivers innovative technology and systems that optimize performance while minimizing energy use and reducing costs over the entire lifecycle of a building. Each service or solution is designed to meet the specific needs of our commercial, institutional, industrial and process application customers.

A notable recent success story is Christian County Schools, located in Hopkinsville, KY. The district received new HVAC systems as well as new interior and exterior lighting, new ceilings and windows, and equipment for water conservation. In addition, Intelligent Services, a real time energy services program offered by Harshaw Trane, was installed to monitor energy and performance 24 /7, in real time. This is Kentucky's largest Guaranteed Savings Project in public schools to date.  As a result of the upgrades, the energy savings will be used to pay for the project over time, closing the gap between available funds and facility needs.

"Harshaw Trane's NAESCO accreditation further demonstrates our investment in optimizing our client's facilities and assets. Energy has become increasingly important in our marketplace and this preeminent accreditation illustrates our commitment to leadership in the energy services industry." -- Ty Vierling, Energy Services Leader, Harshaw Trane

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Affiliate Advisory Committee Report

The Affiliate Advisory Committee has been busy ensuring the three key priorities for 2016 are being addressed through its corresponding subcommittees.

Webinars/Workshops -- The Webinars and Workshops subcommittee produced its first webinar of the year, Applying 179D for Maximum Benefit, which was held on March 21. David Diaz, Director of Business Development, Walker Reid Strategies and Paula Pyles, Managing Member, Concord Energy Strategies presented. If you missed the webinar, but would like to access the recording, it is available on the Members Only area of the NAESCO website. The subcommittee plans to offer at least two more webinars in September and December.

The subcommittee has also been developing speakers and content for the upcoming, Technology and Financing Workshop to be held in Louisville, Kentucky, June 1-2, 2016.

Advocacy -- The Advocacy subcommittee will serve as a point of contact to NAESCO President, Donald Gilligan and the NAESCO Advocacy and Strategic Planning Committee of the Board of Directors as the advocacy strategy for 2016 is developed and executed. Currently, the subcommittee is focusing on ways to support advocacy efforts identified in key states. To support this effort, NAESCO will be sending a brief email asking members to list all the states in which their companies do business. The information will be used to enhance the advocacy network for NAESCO to draw upon for relevant advocacy efforts.

Value Proposition - The Affiliate Value Proposition subcommittee has been working to expand the Affiliate Value Proposition in order to increase the benefits and maximize the overall value of being a NAESCO affiliate member. The subcommittee has been working with NAESCO staff to research offering Continuing Education Credits, (CEUs) for NAESCO webinars and workshop and conference sessions, including at the upcoming Technology and Financing Workshop in Louisville.

All NAESCO ESA and AESA members are encouraged to have a member of their team participate on the Affiliate Advisory Committee and on one of the subcommittees. If interested, or you would like more information, please contact Heidi Walters at Heidi@naesco.org.

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NAESCO Website Enhancements

NAESCO is making some enhancements to the website for added value to the membership.  Most recently, the website was updated to be tablet and smartphone compatible, making pages easier to navigate while using these devices.

Other improvements include adding a dedicated Membership Tab and a Twitter feed of @NAESCONews tweets to the home page: www.naesco.org.

The next enhancement project will be to add links to member companies' marketing or promotional videos to both the Buyer's Guide and Membership Directory. In order to populate these areas, NAESCO asks that interested members send links to videos that companies have housed on websites such as You Tube or Vimeo. Please send promotional video links to Heidi Walters, Heidi@naesco.org.

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Industry Reports

NREL Study finds U.S. rooftop energy potential 80% more than thought
U.S. rooftops could generate 80 percent more energy from solar panels than previously thought, according to a new analysis from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Using a combination of aerial surveys, on-the-ground counting and supercomputing, researchers found rooftop solar holds the potential to generate 1,432 terawatt-hours of annual energy, up from the estimated 800 terawatt-hours in 2008. The amount of possible installed capacity from rooftop solar photovoltaics also jumped from 664 gigawatts to 1,118 GW. The three-year analysis projected the level of energy that could be generated in theory if PV systems were installed on all suitable U.S. business and residential rooftops. Download the report here.

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DOE Issues "Revolution Now" Report Highlighting Transformational Technologies
In 2013, the U.S. Department of Energy released its first Revolution Now report, highlighting four transformational technologies: land-based wind power, silicon photovoltaic solar modules, light-emitting diodes , and electric vehicles. That study and its 2014 update showed how dramatic reductions in cost are driving a surge in consumer, industrial, and commercial adoption for these clean energy technologies. In addition to presenting the continued progress made over the last year in these areas, this year's update adds sections that cover large, central, utility-scale PV plants and smaller, rooftop, distributed PV systems. The update also briefly introduces three additional technologies that DOE believes will see wider deployment in the coming years: smart building systems, fuel-efficient freight trucks, and vehicle lightweighting. Download the report here.

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Index Ranks States on Grid Modernization
The GridWise Alliance recently released its third annual Grid Modernization Index (GMI), which uses survey data collected in June-October 2015 to benchmark states on a wide range of grid modernization policies, investments, and activities. The GMI found that a number of states have moved toward a more modernized electric grid. California is the highest-ranked state, for the third time in a row, with a score of 88 -- more than six points higher than its score in the previous Index. California has a nearly seven-point lead over second-place Illinois, while Texas -- which was neck and neck with California for the top score in the previous GMI -- ranks third. Maryland and Delaware (leaders on the East Coast) each moved up a spot to fourth and fifth, respectively. Rounding out the top 10 are Washington DC, Oregon, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Georgia. Download the report here.

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Energy Efficiency Finance: A Market Reassessment
This ACEEE paper by Joel Freehling and Brian Stickles, describes the current state of energy efficiency financing, highlighting what is and isn't working, while offering a look at the future of the industry. According to the authors, the US energy efficiency finance market represents more than $100 billion in annual investment, with particular strength in segments like green buildings and cars, ENERGY STAR®--certified IT equipment, and energy service companies. On the other hand, low- and moderate-income households, multifamily housing, many state and local governments, and the small commercial market remain underserved and credit challenged. Green bonds, better technology, new financing methods, and more sophisticated evaluation are keys to future growth. Download the paper here.

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Sustainable Energy in America Factbook 
The 2016 edition of the Sustainable Energy in America Factbook -- produced for the Business Council for Sustainable Energy by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, provides up-to-date, accurate market information about the broad range of industries -- energy efficiency, renewable energy and natural gas -- that are contributing to the country's move towards cleaner energy production and more efficient energy usage.  Download the Factbook here.

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Global Sales of High-Bay Luminaires and Lamps Are Expected to Peak at Nearly $23.5 Billion in 2017
A new report from Navigant Research examines the market for industrial and high-bay lighting in six building types, with forecasts for unit sales and revenue, through 2024.While the industrial and high-bay markets have traditionally represented challenging lighting applications, advances and price declines in light-emitting diode technologies are driving sales of luminaires and lamps for these markets. Today, many high-bay LED products offer exceptional lighting quality in a price range that allows for paybacks from energy savings.  According to a new report from Navigant Research, global sales of high-bay luminaires and lamps are expected to peak at almost $23.5 billion in 2017. Download the report here.

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Member News

AECOM and Ohio University Survey of College Athletic Directors Predicts Strong Facilities Investment
A survey of college athletic directors by the Ohio University Center for Sports Administration in Athens, and AECOM, a global leader in sports venue design and construction, reveals new insight into the facility investment plans of NCAA programs across the country. Of participating athletic directors, nearly all (99 percent) said they plan to invest more than US$500,000 in athletic facilities over the next five years, and half (50 percent) plan to invest at least US$25 million in that time.

The survey was administered in November 2015 to 87 NCAA athletic directors from 25 Division I conferences. It is a follow-up to a survey conducted in 2014.

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Ameresco and Sainsbury's win prestigious UK energy award
Ameresco recently announced that their UK operation has won a prestigious award, after working with Sainsbury's, a supermarket and convenience store chain, to significantly reduce gas usage at a large store in south London by 90%. Through its successful project for Sainsbury's, Ameresco, which has UK offices in London and Castleford, received a Verdantix Energy Innovation Award at the Verdantix Summit 2016 in London. The Verdantix Energy Innovation Awards highlight successful corporate and public sector energy innovation projects, programmes and initiatives of the preceding 12-18 months. The awards recognize the people and organizations who are instrumental in launching successful, innovative strategies that deliver superior results. Ameresco's joint entry with client Sainsbury's highlighted the development of a pioneering CO2 Heat Reclaim project at one of the supermarket giant's London stores.

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CTI Energy Services, LLC, receives Certification as Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business
CTI Energy Services, based in Amherst, Massachusetts, was recently certified by the Department of Veterans Affairs as a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB). This designation, in addition to other pre-qualified government certifications CTI has achieved, opens the way for CTI to take advantage of further federal and state "set-aside" provisions. The SDVOSB certification expands the scope of CTI's operations for energy savings and renewable energy projects as well as more partnerships with national and international energy services companies (ESCOs).

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Energy Focus Featured in Green Building & Design Magazine
Featured in this month's issue of GB&D Magazine, Energy Focus is a leader in the lighting revolution in schools and world class healthcare facilities. Learn about the experience USGBC, Cleveland Clinic, and E3 have had with Energy Focus in the article here.

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Energy Focus Comments on UFC Change at the Department of Defense
Energy Focus announced the Department of Defense Unified Facilities Criteria has been changed to allow tubular LED installation categorically without the requirement to submit a waiver request for each retrofit project. "We very much applaud and welcome this exemplary policy milestone that now enables all branches of the DOD, the nation's single largest energy user, to accelerate TLED lighting adoption for its existing 550,000 plus buildings in a much swifter fashion," said James Tu, Executive Chairman and CEO of Energy Focus, Inc.

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ESG Customer Westminster Village Wins Green Excellence Award
Westminster Village won a Green Excellence Award from the McLean County Chamber of Commerce in Bloomington, IL.  Westminster Village is a large facility approximately 400,000 square feet on a 40 acre site. There are approximately 350 residents in independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing.

In recent years, Westminster has done several things to help set the overall direction for their green improvements through a contract with Energy Systems Group. A comprehensive Environmental Sustainability Assessment was completed in 2011, followed by an energy audit conducted by the SEDAC (Smart Energy Design Assistance) along with a Waste Assessment and Recycling Audit in 2012 to help start their "greening" process.

Many opportunities for updating were identified as a result of these studies such as replacing lighting with energy efficient fixtures/sensors, installing computers to manage heating/cooling, updating kitchen equipment to improve cooling/ventilation to name a few. Other day-to-day activities were improved such as adding improved recycling containers to each floor, the addition of a WV Foundation Garden Walk to promote physical activity for residents, utilizing van pool to transport residents to cut down on emissions, and purchasing HE washers and dryers. A video can be viewed here.

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ENGIE Aquires OpTerra Energy Services
ENGIE and OpTerra Energy Services recently announced that a member of the ENGIE Group has acquired OpTerra Energy Services and its affiliated companies. Headquartered in Oakland, California, OpTerra designs and implements customized projects that help public- and private-sector clients reduce energy consumption and cost. This move strengthens both companies' objective to offer new and differentiated energy services to current and prospective customers in the United States.

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Exelon Corporation and Pepco Holdings, Inc. Are Now One Company
Exelon Corporation and Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM) announced on March 23 that the two companies have completed their merger transaction. The announcement follows the approval of the merger by the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia (DC PSC).

The merger brings together Exelon's three electric and gas utilities -- BGE, ComEd and PECO -- and Pepco Holdings' three electric and gas utilities -- Atlantic City Electric, Delmarva Power and Pepco -- to create the leading mid-Atlantic electric and gas utility company. Exelon will provide a package of direct benefits -- including bill credits, reliability improvements and other investments -- worth more than $430 million for customers and communities in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland and New Jersey under the commitments made in those jurisdictions.

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Member Projects

Ameresco Partners with Denver for the City's First-Ever Energy Performance Contract
Ameresco, recently announced, the City and County of Denver have entered into a nearly two million dollar energy performance contract with the company. Denver's EPC includes a total of 88 energy efficiency improvements to 14 of the City's most energy intensive buildings, including four recreation centers, four libraries, three fire stations, and the 911 Call Center. The improvements are guaranteed to create energy savings averaging 17% across all 14 buildings, with four of the buildings expected to reduce their energy use by over 30%. This project identified and targets some of the City's largest energy consumers for efficiency upgrades. Through these improvements, the City is guaranteed to save over $2.4 million in the first 15 years, and is expected to begin realizing savings within the first year.

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Energy Focus Receives First Orders For Its Retailer-Specific Tubular LED Products For One of the Largest U.S. Department Store Chains
Energy Focus recently announced that it has received initial orders for 25 stores for its tubular LED products for one of the largest department store chains in the U.S. by sales with over 1,100 stores.

The products, specifically designed for the client to meet its rigorous luminance and photometry requirements, aim to replace the T8 fluorescent lamps being used for cornice lighting that illuminate product displays and signage throughout the stores. The customized Energy Focus TLEDs are expected to replace these traditional lighting sources altogether and reduce energy consumption by approximately 64%. Additionally, they eliminate ongoing lamp and ballast maintenance costs without incurring excessive material and labor costs, and do not create unnecessary environmental waste that would result from replacing the existing lighting fixtures.

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ESG Begins Construction on NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Energy Systems Group (ESG) began construction of a combined heat and power plant at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. The CHP plant is included in the scope of an energy savings performance contract awarded to ESG in August 2015 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The CHP facility will operate in parallel with the utility, meeting nearly 70 percent of JSC's electric requirements, all of JSC's steam requirements, and roughly half of JSC's chilled water requirements.

The ESPC project's two energy conservation measures, a CHP plant and chilled water plant improvements, will save approximately $141 million over a 22-year operating term. The CHP plant will produce 11.9 megawatts of electricity via two 5.7 megawatt combustion turbines and one 500 kilowatt steam turbine. Using waste heat from the combustion turbines, two heat recovery steam generators will produce 50,000 pounds per hour of high pressure steam. The steam will be simultaneously used for heating and to generate chilled water via existing steam turbine-driven chillers. Conventional utility power generation systems typically operate at 35 to 45 percent efficiency. Using the waste heat generated by the NASA JSC CHP plant for both cooling and heating allows for overall tri-generation thermal efficiencies in excess of 85 percent. Re-commissioning of the chilled water system will result in still more efficiencies. ESG will provide operations and maintenance, repair and replacement and savings guarantees for the term of the contract.

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St. Joseph School District Selects Energy Solutions Professionals for VRF Installation
After a competitive solicitation, the St. Joseph, Missouri School District selected Energy Solutions Professionals (ESP) as its preferred partner for installing new heating and air conditioning systems at two middle schools in the District. Design work is underway on the $3 million effort that will add variable refrigerant flow systems to heat and cool Robidoux and Spring Garden Middle Schools.

The work will be completed over the summer in order to avoid disruption of any educational activities and ensure that students and staff will return to cool classrooms in August.

Additionally, as part of another RFP, the District is currently considering ESP's proposal to add air conditioning to three elementary schools, along with options for making improvements to lighting and plumbing fixtures in several District buildings that would yield considerable energy savings.

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Johnson Controls, Arkansas State University Sign $15 Million Energy Performance Contract 
Johnson Controls and Arkansas State University have signed a $15 million energy performance contract that will dramatically advance the university's sustainability initiatives, including improvements to lighting, water conservation, waste management, energy management, HVAC and utility monitoring systems. The Arkansas State energy performance contract features a 20-year payback and operational savings -- the first of its kind in the state of Arkansas.

The upgrades, scheduled for completion by Nov. 30, 2016, will include LED lighting, water conservation, waste management, energy management, HVAC, lab hood improvements and utility monitoring.

"The Arkansas State project is setting the standard by which other energy performance contracts will be measured in the state," said Chet Howland, energy program manager for the Arkansas Energy Office.  "We expect the project to have an economic impact of over $30 million with no upfront cost to Arkansas State, as guaranteed energy savings will pay for the project over the next two decades."

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Lutron Begins Lighting Control Project at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia
With the help of Lutron, Liberty University has deployed an aggressive lighting control strategy to maximize energy savings in its facilities.  The use of vacancy sensors in many areas maximizes the amount of time the lighting is in the off state, while providing the appropriate amount of light in areas only when they are occupied.  Daylight harvesting in conjunction the with the installation of automated window shades is targeted to reduce the lighting energy requirements by 65%.

Lutron Electronics Quantum technology interoperable with current building management systems will now provide a campus wide solution for monitoring and measuring energy utilization. Many of the controls utilized in the lighting and shade control strategies are wireless.  The labor savings estimates are significant, eliminating 70% of the labor from the installation of similar, wired controls.

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NORESCO Selected for $28 Million Energy and Water Infrastructure Project for Georgia Department of Corrections
NORESCO has won a $28 million guaranteed energy savings performance contract with the Georgia Department of Corrections for work at five sites across the state. Customized to the needs of each facility, improvements will be delivered at Arrendale State Prison, Georgia Diagnostic & Classification Prison, Georgia State Prison, Hays State Prison and Wilcox State Prison. As a result of this project, carbon dioxide emissions are projected to decline by more than 25 percent from their baseline. Other environmental pollutants, including nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides, will also decline, making overall emissions improvements equivalent to removing 1,442 cars from the road for one year.

The project includes reconfiguration of three central boiler plants along with domestic hot water improvements, significant water conservation gains through equipment retrofits and controls and improved reliability and performance through heating, ventilating and air conditioning upgrades. The project also improves lighting, energy management control systems, chillers, water treatment, piping and insulation.

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Opterra and Madera County Celebrate $15 Million in Savings through Completion of Solar and Energy Efficiency Project
The Madera County Board of Supervisors announced at its March 1st Board meeting that it has completed the latest chapter in its successful solar and energy efficiency program with OpTerra Energy Services. The development of the program began in 2013 and delivery of energy improvements across three major County sites has been aligned with the County's broader objective to maintain fiscal stewardship while improving community facilities. Madera County is set to save nearly $15 million in energy savings as a result of the comprehensive solar and energy efficiency upgrades.

OpTerra worked collaboratively with County staff to complete the final planning and engineering on the program, and together they received all necessary approvals so that construction was able to proceed immediately after financing had been secured. At the March 1st Board meeting, the OpTerra team presented project close-out details on the work done across the County's service and administrative sites. OpTerra installed solar energy systems at the County's Jail Complex and Government Center to produce more than 1.6 megawatts of clean, sustainable energy annually, while HVAC upgrades to the Madera Library's 40-year old mechanical equipment help generate additional savings in both electricity and maintenance costs.

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Pepco Energy awarded $80 Million ESPC Task Order at US Naval Station Great Lakes
Pepco Energy Services, Inc. announced that it has been awarded an $80.4 million Energy Savings Performance Contract task order by the United States Navy at Naval Station Great Lakes. The task order, awarded under the United States Department of Energy ESPC Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract, includes a $42.4 million investment in new energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy systems. Upon completion of construction, the project will generate approximately $4 million per year in guaranteed energy savings and $79.9 million during the 16.5-year performance period of the task order. Construction is expected to be completed over a two-year period during which time the project will provide another $1.8 million in guaranteed savings to the Navy.

The energy conservation measures include new LED technology, water conservation, building envelope improvements, 3,000 tons of new cooling capacity, 2.7 MW in solar hybrid systems, new HVAC systems, and retro-commissioning of HVAC systems, among others. Work at NSGL will be performed in 60 buildings as well as at the landfill and on the roadway lighting systems. After construction is completed, Pepco Energy Services will provide ongoing maintenance, continuous commissioning, and measurement and verification services over the task order performance period.

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Perfection Group and Clinton County in Wilmington, OH Partner for 5.2 million  Renovation Project
Perfection Group has been chosen by Clinton County in Wilmington, Ohio for a $5.2 million energy renovation project. The project includes lighting upgrades across multiple buildings, HVAC upgrades to Prosecutors Office, as well as roof replacement at the Prosecutors and Veterans Offices.  Extensive Courthouse renovation includes heat recovery/variable refrigerant flow system, lighting retrofit, new controls, new roof, new double pane windows, skylight replacement, and masonry cleaning, tuck-pointing, and sealing.

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Schneider Electric ESPC Project Guarantees $114 Million in Energy Savings for the U.S. Navy
Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management and automation, along with the U.S. Navy, has announced a comprehensive infrastructure improvement project to transform the Naval Base Coronado and Naval Base San Clemente Island sites through a self-funding energy savings performance contract. Once complete, the improvements will generate $114 million in guaranteed energy cost savings over the 19-year project term and will help the Navy meet many of its short and long-term strategic goals, including the Presidential Performance Contract Challenge.

This extensive project encompasses upgrades to 90 buildings across two sites off the Southern California coast, including data center and electrical upgrades, as well as renewable energy and traditional energy conservation measures. Construction is expected to be complete in 2018.

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New Product and Services Showcase

Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc. Cooling & Heating Division, a marketer of advanced cooling and heating systems for commercial applications, introduces the PremiSys® Fusion Dedicated Outside Air System (DOAS) -- a premier split-system solution for acclimatizing outside air for commercial buildings.
PremiSys Fusion DOAS is a split-system consisting of a Variable Refrigerant Flow  outdoor unit and an air handler. The system is designed to handle 100 percent outside air with energy recovery models. It offers an energy-efficiency improvement of up to 20 percent over a traditional dedicated outside air system.

Mitsubishi PremiSys Fusion Dedicated Outside Air System

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Industry News

The Top Tech to Cut Energy Costs and Emissions?
Building Efficiency Technologies (BET) were declared the top revenue generator in a recent report when considered against various advanced energy segments. In the report, entitled the Top Tech to Cut Energy Costs and Emissions, the Advanced Energy Economy group said that based on revenues gains last year in the advanced energy segments which included solar, wind, gas turbines, biofuels, energy storage and building efficiency technologies, BET grabbed the biggest share of revenues, at $63.6 billion globally and $52.8 billion in the U.S. Investments in building efficiency technologies took 30 percent of what the organization estimates is a $1.4 trillion global advanced energy market in its annual Market Report -- a snapshot on revenues for the segments it tracks produced  by Navigant Research. 

The report said all advanced energy revenues grew 8 percent last year, which it notes is roughly three times global GDP growth. 

But while it's been clear that Internet of Things (IoT) technologies are finding their way into many industrial and commercial products -- including building management and energy efficiency -- its role in energy seemed to surprise the authors.

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Southern Co. to Buy PowerSecure
Atlanta-based Southern Co. plans to buy the Wake Forest-based energy technology company PowerSecure Inc. for $431 million. The deal is expected to close before June, says PowerSecure CEO Sidney Hinton.
The price is close to an 80% premium over PowerSecure's $10.43 closing on Tuesday, the day before the deal was announced. On Wednesday before the deal, shares had actually dropped to $9.87, which may indicate the announcement took the markets by surprise.

The PowerSecure deal is designed to jumpstart Southern's distributed generation and energy efficiency business. The services offered by PowerSecure -- including utility infrastructure design and construction, energy efficiency and solar engineer, procurement and construction operations -- are based on newer technologies that have grown up largely outside large utility business lines.

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White House releases Fact Sheet: Cities, Utilities, and Businesses Commit to Unlocking Access to Energy Data for Building Owners and Improving Energy Efficiency
Making businesses and homes more energy efficient is a win for jobs and economic growth, operating costs and bottom lines, as well as the President's commitment to reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change. As part of the President's Better Buildings Program, the Administration announced:

  • 18 utilities, serving more than 2.6 million commercial customers, will provide access to energy data building owners by 2017, the first step to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings;
  • 30 cities and states and 21 organizations from across the country are committing to take new actions to make it easier to identify ways to cut energy waste by making energy data available to building owners,
  • 24 cities, states, and businesses are committing to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings 20 percent by 2020; and
  • Seven cities and states from across the country are committing to install more efficient outdoor lighting. 

The actions announced build on commitments made by 285 organizations representing nearly 4 billion square feet since the Administration launched the President's Better Building program in 2011.  The program's mission is to partner with the Energy Department to improve energy efficiency 20 percent by 2020, and share successful strategies that maximize efficiency deployment over the next decade. These new commitments from cities, school districts, and businesses like Nike and Wendy's will help cut waste in our buildings, saving energy and money and reducing pollution.

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Plan takes shape for MIT sustainability
A group of recommendations issued in late 2015 sets MIT on a path to align its campus operations along a core set of sustainability principles, setting a strong foundation for rigorous and innovative Institute-wide goal setting, measurement and verification, and implementation of strategies moving forward.

These recommendations -- titled "The Sustainability Working Group Recommendations: An integrative vision for our Buildings, Stormwater, Landscape and Labs" -- follow a 10-month process guided by the MIT Office of Sustainability. These recommendations are aligned with and advance the recently released MIT Plan for Action on Climate Change, which calls for a series of actions that lead to a local response to climate mitigation, adaptation, and resiliency.

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