National Energy Efficiency Experts Descend on Charlotte

August 27, 2015

Energy Services Coalition Shines Light On North Carolina Energy Performance Contracting Success. 

The Energy Services Coalition (ESC), a national private/public partnership, is holding its annual conference in Charlotte on September 1 and 2 at the downtown Westin Hotel. The ESC, celebrating its 20th anniversary, is supported by nearly 300 members nationwide. Thirty-eight of these members comprise the organization's very successful North Carolina ESC Chapter. 

This public/private collaborative promotes the widespread use of guaranteed energy savings performance contracts as an option for building owners to acquire energy efficiency, water conservation and renewable energy technologies with no upfront capital required. Instead, this procurement process uses the annual energy cost savings to pay for the energy efficiency improvements.

"The revenue stream provided by the guaranteed energy reduction measures pays for the improvements," said Jim Arwood, Executive Director of the ESC. "It is simply diverting utility dollars to pay for efficiency upgrades now, using the energy savings across time to make the payments."  The contractor makes up any shortfall if the energy improvements fail to meet their savings guarantee.

While all 50 states have state statues that allow energy performance contracting, North Carolina is one of the more successful states in its utilization of this finance process.  "North Carolina is one of the leading states in the country for energy cost savings resulting from a performance contract," Arwood added.

The Utility Savings Initiative (USI), a division of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, is the state's program that provides technical assistance and guidance to public entities interested in energy performance contracting.

Currently, North Carolina has 21 performance contracts completed or in process in state and university buildings -- representing an investment of $281 million. Projects range from the Museum of Art in Raleigh, to Appalachian State University, North Carolina State University and UNC Pembroke.

An additional 53 contracts have been implemented in local units of government with a total investment of $211 million. In all cases, the savings guarantee is paying for the improvements.

Nationally, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) estimates that in 2013 approximately $6.4 billion was invested in public building energy retrofits through an energy savings performance contract. LBNL estimate that the remaining performance contracting investment potential in facilities nationwide is significant, ranging from $71 to $133 billion.

Many of these projects and their technological solutions will be highlighted as part of the 4th Annual ESC Market Transformation conference in Charlotte.  Energy experts from more than 30 states are scheduled to attend.

About the Energy Services Coalition (ESC)

The ESC is the nation's only private-public partnership whose sole mission is to deliver the benefits of energy savings performance contracting. Please visit our website at for more information.