Another year, GSA Region 2 earns Demand Response Rebate on Earth Day
May 3, 2019
By Nisha Jasani
NEW YORK -- The Northeast and Caribbean Region of the U.S. General Services Administration hosted an Earth Day event April 23 where employees gathered to learn and hear from various vendors about the services and programs offered by them.
“Public and private sector partnerships like the ones we are celebrating here today between GSA, Con Edison, Trane, NuEnergen, Leidos and Enel X North America help our green energy projects to pay for themselves — thus making “Sustainability” sustainable from a business and industry perspective,” said Regional Administrator John A. Sarcone III, GSA’s Northeast and Caribbean Region. “Through its demand response and rebate programs, Region 2 is a leader in one of our more innovative methods for increasing the sustainability of our facilities while earning revenue.”
Rebates earned through these programs are used to fund energy and water saving projects that will further benefit taxpayers, enable buildings to operate more efficiently, and protect the environment.
“We are proud to have worked with an important government institution like the General Services Administration to reduce energy usage,” said Mahdi Jawad, manager in Con Edison’s Energy Efficiency group. “The GSA’s energy-saving upgrades, which Con Edison supported with $3 million in incentives, save money for American taxpayers and dramatically reduce carbon emissions.
The region is responsible for managing energy in all of its 62 federally owned buildings and the majority of the 476 leases it manages. Out of 98 energy conservation measures, Trane discussed two measures that saved energy and improved customer comfort and the work environment.
“Seven years of great partnership with the GSA, this is the largest project Trane has completed to date at $115 million dollars,” said Scott Lewin, General Manager of Comprehensive Energy Solutions, Public Sector for Trane. “The measures implemented as part of the Energy Savings Procurement Contract (ESPC) project have several benefits in addition to energy savings that fund improvements. When the measures implemented result in a more comfortable work environment, that equates to a more productive and better overall work environment for your customers and tenants.”
Representatives from NuEnergen, the region’s partner in demand response, presented a ceremonial check that represents the $437,219.01 in revenue that GSA earned in 2018 under the demand response program, exceeding last year’s earnings.
The sustainable green life cycle includes earning revenue by reducing energy usage in buildings when called upon by the electric power grid operators and utilities, such as Con Edison in New York. Rebates are then used to fund energy projects in GSA owned and operated buildings.
“Region 2 began program participation in 2011, and has on average earned roughly $350,000 annually since that time,” said Kevin Hamilton, CEO, NuEnergen. “In 2018, Region 2 earned over $437,000, and since 2011, has saved the taxpayers of our country nearly $3 million by way of its participation in demand response.”
This reflects GSA’s strategic goals and initiatives by reducing energy usage, saving taxpayer dollars, while buildings become more energy efficient. This allows utilities to reduce the need to generate additional power, which in turn reduces stress on the electric power grids. Going green allows GSA to earn green while saving green, all without impacting tenant comfort or building operations by conserving natural resources.
Enel X, GSA’s energy power procurement partner, reported GSA Region 2 is a renewable energy procurement leader.
A reverse auction platform process encourages energy vendors to submit their lowest bids over the internet, which enables GSA to get the most competitive pricing.
“Reverse auctions in the public sectors are effective because bidders are prequalified and the government uses a standard contract. Therefore price becomes the differentiator.” said Jon Harvey, Public Sector Procurement Manager, Enel X. North America
“GSA Region 2 was first to use an online reverse auction to solicit energy bids. Others followed once GSA proved its effectiveness,” Harvey said.
No other GSA region has procured more energy from third party suppliers over the past 18 years for GSA owned and operated facilities and those of its regional customers.
- Region 2 ranks second in power purchased on the deregulated electricity market. At the same time, nearly 70 percent of this power is supplied from renewable resources.
- In FY18, the region’s recycling programs diverted over 1,440 tons of waste from landfills.
- Over the last five years we have saved over $30 million gallons of water. During this time period our overall costs for water have remained stable as the price per gallon has risen dramatically.
- Region 2 has 20 buildings that have achieved a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating.
- FY18, Region 2 ranked second nationally with 44 percent of our buildings in compliance with the Guiding Principles (GPs) for sustainable federal buildings.
“This is one of GSA’s most important priorities,” Sarcone said. “Whether we are working to reduce energy and water use in federal buildings, responsibly disposing of electronic waste, or greening the federal fleet, we are building a greener, more efficient federal government.”