Energy savings performance contract

Randy Ortgiesen

Randy Ortgiesen, head of the Facilities Engineering Services Section, wrote this column.

The laboratory is once again supporting a DOE Energy Savings Performance Contract and has completed participation in the field work for the first phase, called a Preliminary Assessment.

An ESPC is a vehicle through which a competitively selected energy services company (ESCo) provides an assessment of energy savings opportunities in various building and utility systems. The ESPC provides funding to take advantage of selected opportunities for creating real savings for the laboratory, and the initial investment is paid back through the contract as well. During the payback period, the contractor performs a measurement and verification evaluation to make sure the savings continue to be achieved based on the agreed upon baseline. After the payback period, the laboratory retains the savings. Not only does the program help meet DOE’s energy and water reduction goals, but the new equipment purchased through the contract also improves system reliability and thus helps fulfill the laboratory’s mission.

Fermilab has acquired quite a bit of experience over the last decade-and-a-half working with the Fermi Site Office to successfully implement these types of initiatives and has executed over $60 million in contracts, the vast majority of which have already been paid back. During October and November, the selected ESCo, Schneider Electric’s Energy Solutions group, completed field work to assess 587 sites at the laboratory. The teams were very complimentary of the laboratory building and facility managers for hosting and coordinating this huge effort.

A big “Well done!” goes to all Fermilab building managers for helping to coordinate the effort of multiple teams of engineers. The teams looked at everything from traditional measures such as light bulbs to more complex items, including chiller plants and data centers. The formal delivery of the Preliminary Assessment to the Fermi Site Office is scheduled for late January, after which a thorough review will be completed to decide which measures may be further evaluated during the subsequent phase, called the Investment Grade Audit.