WASHINGTON — The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced that 30 of its federal buildings, totaling nearly 117 million square feet, are participating in a challenge to achieve what it calls “deep energy savings.” The Deep Retrofit Challenge is asking energy service companies to make these buildings significantly more energy efficient using energy service performance contracts (ESPCs). Retrofit projects at these buildings will contribute to the goals of a presidential memorandum on implementing energy savings projects and performance contracts. In December 2011, President Obama directed federal agencies to enter into at least $2 billion in performance contracts over the next two years to achieve substantial energy savings and create jobs.

Through the Deep Retrofit Challenge, GSA is asking energy service companies to provide the maximum energy performance savings possible for each of the participating buildings. GSA will learn with the energy service companies how best to achieve maximum energy savings through technology adoption, process improvements, and risk management, and will share that knowledge with both the rest of the federal government and the private sector.

At no net cost to taxpayers, ESPCs retrofit buildings for guaranteed energy savings. The retrofit projects are paid for through these energy savings over time. An ESPC is an agreement between a federal agency and an energy service company. The energy service company conducts a comprehensive energy audit for the federal facility and identifies improvements to save energy. Sixteen energy service companies are pre-approved by and under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to bid on these projects. The energy service companies consult with GSA on the designs, construct projects that meet GSA’s needs, and arrange the necessary funding. And, the energy service company guarantees that the improvements will generate energy cost savings sufficient to pay for the project over the term of the contract. After the capital is paid back, any additional cost savings accrue to GSA.

The list of 30 buildings and the Notice of Opportunity are posted on the FedBizOpps.gov website. The 16 energy service companies can be found on DOE’s Federal Energy Management Program website at www1.eere.energy.gov/femp/financing/m/espcs_doeescos.html.

Publication date: 04/16/2012