PowerSurety principals have met with program managers at well-known federal agencies to better understand the types of successes and challenges they are experiencing under their Utility Energy Services Contracting (UESC) and Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) programs. The managers we’ve met with have been quite candid with their feedback and shared frustration about the disparities they are seeing between the two programs.
They’ve told us that energy service companies (ESCOs) they work with appear to operate two separate development/delivery teams; one for ESPC and another for UESC. According to the agencies’ representatives, their ESPC projects appear to receive support from the ESCOs’ “A” teams, while their UESC projects seemed to receive support from their “B” teams. The government also voiced concern about differing ESCO approaches between the two programs, stating that energy usage baseline development for UESCs is being performed in a less disciplined and thorough manner under UESCs than under ESPCs.
From the government’s perspective, such an approach is not right and does a disservice to the UESC program, participating utilities, federal agencies, and U.S. taxpayers alike. Although frustrated with the current situation, the agency did have thoughts on how the situation could be substantially improved.
One was for utilities to engage independent third-party entities who are expert in both ESPC and UESC, to provide their programs with technical support, project-level due diligence, and program guidance as required. In the government’s view, UESCs are not part of a utility’s core mission, and as such, it is not reasonable to expect that utilities be expert in UESC or its nuances and associated risks in order to sponsor a program and participate. What is expected is that utilities engage others to assist the in managing the program and becoming expert in the development and delivery of projects.
Given the deep level of ESPC and UESC expertise possessed by PowerSurety principals and our belief that project development methodologies under both programs should be well aligned, we offer a specialized form of “Utility Independent Engineering” to our utility customers who engage in UESC program development and delivery. Not only do our services ensure that UESC projects are developed in a manner acceptable to all government agencies, we mitigate risk for our utility customers and provide a higher level of assurance that their UESC customers will be fully satisfied with the performance of the project for many years after acceptance.