Four Ways Municipalities Improve Lives With Performance Contracting
Municipalities strapped for cash and burdened with aging infrastructure, occupant discomfort, and unsafe environments for citizens have the option to turn to performance contracting to solve their problems.
Performance contracts are budget-neutral as project costs are paid for by the guaranteed energy savings realized from the energy optimization projects. Many states have enabling legislation that allows local governments to take advantage of performance contracts with a qualified energy systems optimization company.
Greg Royer, an energy optimization expert, explained that some of the benefits municipalities experience include:
Reduced capital expenditures
In most cases, depending on scope, utility bill expenditures can be reduced by up to 50 percent after implementing efficiency measures. Municipalities can then use that savings to pay for capital improvement projects — or reallocate those funds into another project to better the lives of their residents.
Improved occupant comfort
Employees working in a drafty building with inefficient HVAC equipment bundle up in the winter, and sweat in the summer, slowing productivity. With energy system optimization projects that include enhanced lighting or mechanical systems, employees are more comfortable, healthier, happier and more productive.
Replacement of Aging Building Systems
Municipalities with aging building automation systems, or who suffer from being locked out of a proprietary building automation system often struggle with occupant discomfort. In most cases municipalities don’t have the funding or staff time required to solve these issues. With an energy systems optimization solution that replaces aging equipment and includes a building automation system with open protocol controls, the entity is able to have full control of their energy systems, saving more money and energy while improving the comfort for all who use the space.
Achievement of a safer and cleaner community
“Government entities want to do the right thing, get the most out of their building systems and set a good example for being environmental stewards for their community — but not on the backs of the taxpayers,” Royer said. “Performance contracting provides the mechanism to reduce their environmental impact and upgrade infrastructures that provide enhanced aesthetics and safety for citizens, without the need for additional funding or costs to the taxpayers.”
Royer said municipalities need to be choosy when it comes to picking an energy systems optimization company to complete the project funded with a performance contract.
“Choose an energy systems optimization company that doesn’t try to force a product they manufacture and a company that is not interested in selling you the most expensive solution with measures that you don’t need,” he said.
An energy systems optimization should also be product agnostic, which means the company will install the best equipment for the design that fits your needs — not a product they manufacture and sell.
“The company should work with you to develop a solution with everything you need and nothing you don’t,” Royer said.