Submitted to: Strategic Planning for Energy and the Environment
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 15, 2012
Publication Date: March 29, 2013
Citation: Murphy, C.L., Morgan, M.S., Ossi, M.J., Ohlson, J.D., Linthicum, K. 2013. Reductions in Energy and Water Use in a Government Laboratory Through an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC). Strategic Planning for Energy and the Environment. 32(4): 65-76. Interpretive Summary: The USDA-Agricultural Research Service Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology partnered with Chevron Energy Solutions Company, a Division of Chevron U.S.A. Inc., to reduce the amounts of energy and water the facility uses. Through the use of an arrangement called an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC), provided by the Department of Energy, the facility asked the energy services company to make engineering changes to the way the climate of the buildings are controlled. The facility saved $131,963 in energy costs the first year after completion of the project. Because of improvements in the way treated water was used throughout the buildings, water use dropped 57.3% in the first year after construction. The ESPC allowed the facility to use private financing thus avoiding up-front capital outlays. The money saved is available to service the financing. In the first year, there were excess savings available to be used at the discretion of the research facility.
Technical Abstract: The USDA-Agricultural Research Service Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology is constantly looking for ways to reduce its energy and water use while still delivering world-class research in a comfortable and safe facility. Over the years, the federal facility has achieved reductions by teaming up with its local utility provider. More recently, they participated in an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) with an energy services company to radically reduce their total energy use from 28,974 MBtu/yr to 23,413 MBtu/yr and water use from 426.4 Kgal/yr to 182.0 Kgal/yr while maintaining occupant safety and comfort. The unique features of the ESPC allow any federal facility to accomplish energy savings projects without up-front capital outlays. Both in-house small projects and large projects can be accomplished through the ESPC process using private financing with implementation costs and debt service paid for out of energy savings.