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GSA Striking it Green for Taxpayers

Check presentation representing energy savingsFrom left, Kevin Hamilton of NuEnergen, Ron Arcilla, Robert Pajer, Brian Magden, and Frank Santella, all of GSA Region 2, pose for a photo with a ceremonial check to represent the amount of revenue generated from participating in the demand response program.

GSA’s energy conservation initiatives continue to make green what matters most: the wallets of U.S. taxpayers. The most recent proof of this came on April 26, 2017, at the new One World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, where Acting Regional Administrator Frank Santella accepted a ceremonial check in the amount of $479,629.72 on behalf of the Northeast and Caribbean Region for its participation in demand response (DR) programs with northeast grid operators like New York Independent System Operator and Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Maryland Interconnection, as well as public utilities like Con Edison.The check was presented by NuEnergen, the region’s private industry partner in such programs, and brings Region 2’s net earnings through DR participation to $1,955,915 since 2011.

“A demand response program is basically an agreement to be on standby to lower energy usage when the power grid is stressed to where it’s at risk of failure,” said Brian Magden, Region 2 energy coordinator. “Organizations in demand response programs get paid for freeing up kilowatts so that demand response capacity is increased for everyone else in the communities and municipalities being served.”

Region 2 currently has a total of 17 of its federally owned buildings enrolled in demand response programs across the metropolitan New York, Upstate New York, and Northern New Jersey areas.

“Earnings from these programs can be used to fund future green projects that eventually yield even more energy and cost savings,” said Robert Pajer, energy branch chief for Region 2. “Since the inception of this revenue stream, we’ve been able to fund dozens of energy and water projects totaling approximately $1.6 million.”

Also on hand April 26 were representatives from Trane®, who provided an update of the energy savings performance contract (ESPC) for a large-scale project to reduce energy and water consumption with cutting edge energy conservation measures (ECMs) in nine of the federally owned buildings GSA manages in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and White Plains. Trane®won the ESPC in April 2016 and, at $114 million, it is one of the largest ESPCs GSA has ever awarded.

Trane reps discuss energy savings through the demand response programKimberly Lam and Chris Jones of Trane® provide an update April 26 on an energy savings performance contract, which is at 55 percent completion toward implementing 98 energy conservation measures throughout nine GSA buildings in Region 2.

"An ESPC is a financial mechanism used to pay for current facility upgrades with future energy and operational savings,” said Kevin Bunker, Region 2’s ESPC program manager. “So we get to improve and modernize the systems in our facilities without having to tap into any capital funds to do it."

Under the contract, Trane® engineers and energy experts walked each of the nine buildings—8 million square feet, in all—and identified a total of 98 ECMs to include in the project. Many of these ECMs will also improve occupant comfort levels, besides modernizing each building’s energy efficiency.

Currently, the project is 55 percent complete and scheduled to be finished by June 2018, at which point energy consumption will be reduced by 30 percent and water consumption by 24 million gallons annually across the nine buildings. Trane® will remain onsite till 2036 to assist the region in maintaining ECMs and to guarantee long-term savings are achieved.

Whether paying for green infrastructure upgrades and projects with revenue generated from demand response programs, or by leveraging the future gains from such projects into energy savings performance contracts, Region 2’s resourceful financing unburdens taxpayers and gives new meaning to the old adage, “The best things in life are free.”

For more information about Region 2’s DR program participation, please contact Brian Magden at brian.magden@gsa.gov. For information about the region’s ESPC with Trane®, please contact Kevin Bunker at kevin.bunker@gsa.gov.

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