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Utility Dive (Opinion): Leading by Example: Lawmakers Should Set Up Performance Contracts on Federal Buildings

Posted by Charles Hernick on Aug 8, 2019

Utility Dive published this article by Charles Hernick, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Forum, highlighting energy efficiency savings afforded by performance contracts, and referencing a letter co-signed by AEE to Congressional leaders with recommendations. See excerpts below and read the whole UD piece here.

Often overlooked and underestimated, the energy efficiency industry has been a star player in cleaning up the national energy market. Rather than developing new ways of energy generation, energy-efficiency technology improves the existing methods, helping them to be cleaner and more cost-effective during energy generation, storage and transportation.

In total, the U.S. spends $10-12 billion on energy-efficiency measures every year. This funding is dispersed throughout the nation to the benefit of energy consumers from all walks of life. It's an essential part of our national infrastructure — and the technology should get top billing on any future infrastructure packages from Washington.

Specifically, we should look toward energy savings performance contracts as a way to pursue energy efficiency on a national scale. Performance contracting uses private sector financing and expertise to improve the energy use in the built environment, usually for public, commercial and industrial facilities.

Performance contracts are important for increasing the efficiency of buildings quickly and affordably. The concept offers an alternative financing model that accelerates energy-efficiency projects by making them possible without an upfront cost.

Through a partnership with a private company, federal, state and local governments have a powerful tool for energy savings in their arsenal...

In January, three organizations sent a letter to Congressional leaders on the importance of performance contracting, including Advanced Energy Economy, Alliance to Save Energy, and the National Association of State Energy Officials. The co-signers urged Congress to include spending for energy efficiency provisions in any infrastructure proposal they consider during the 116th Congress...

 

Topics: AEE In The News