Yesterday, Sens. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Chris Coons (D-DE) as lead sponsors, Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) as original cosponsors and Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Peter Welch (D-VT) introduced the Public–Private Partnership Act of 2017, a bill that would encourage the increased use of energy-efficiency tools, services and products in federal facilities. Improving the energy efficiency of federal facilities is a win-win-win. It’s a win for manufacturers who make and supply the equipment; a win for taxpayers who will see their government spend less money on energy bills and directed more toward other public uses; and a win for environmental protection, as greater energy-efficiency deployment often equates to a smaller environmental footprint for buildings and other facilities.
One of the best tools that the Public–Private Partnership Act would promote is the utilization of energy-saving performance contracts (ESPCs) and utility energy service contracts (UESCs). Performance contracts are a proven tool to save energy, improve infrastructure, reduce operating expenses and decrease emissions with no upfront costs to the government or taxpayers. They leverage the power of the private sector, saving energy while creating jobs across the manufacturing supply chain.
An ESPC is a contract for a defined time period, usually between 10 and 25 years, under which an energy services company designs, acquires, installs and finances energy and/or water conservation measures for a federally owned building and is repaid by the agency from the resulting energy and water cost savings. Similarly, under a UESC, a utility company arranges for the design, installation and financing of an energy- or water-efficiency project, and the costs are repaid over the contract term from cost savings generated by those measures.
The NAM looks forward to working with Sens. Gardner, Coons, Portman and Shaheen as well as Reps. Kinzinger and Welch to garner additional support for the Public–Private Partnership Act of 2017 and to see this important legislation enacted into law.
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