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GSA Offers 30 Federal Buildings for Deep Energy Retrofits

Bid now open to energy companies to make existing federal buildings more energy efficient.

March 22, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. General Services Administration announced 30 of its federal buildings, totaling nearly 17 million square feet, are participating in a challenge to achieve deep energy savings. The Deep Retrofit Challenge is asking energy service companies to make these buildings more energy efficient through the use of Energy Savings Performance Contracts. Retrofit projects at these buildings will contribute to the goals of the Presidential Memorandum on the implementation of energy savings projects and performance-based contracting.

“This is a challenge to the private sector to bring innovative, energy saving retrofits to federal buildings and to take performance-based contracts to the next level,” said Martha Johnson, Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration. “These retrofit projects create jobs, and performance-based contracts provide government with decades of lower utility bills and long term cost savings without an up front investment from the taxpayers.”

In December, President Obama directed federal agencies to enter into at least $2 billion in performance-based contracts over the next two years to achieve substantial energy savings and to create jobs. Additionally, through the Better Buildings Challenge, more than 60 private companies, hospitals, cities, states, colleges have collectively committed to $2 billion in energy efficiency retrofits to 1.6 billion square feet of property.

Through the Deep Retrofit Challenge, GSA is asking energy service companies to provide the maximum energy performance savings possible for each of the buildings, which will contribute to the President's goals of improving energy performance in federal 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 to share that knowledge with both the rest of the federal government and the private sector.

Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) retrofit buildings for guaranteed greater energy performance at no net cost to taxpayers. The retrofit projects are paid for through 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. There are 16 energy services companies that are pre-approved by and under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy to bid on these projects. The energy service companies will consult with GSA on the designs and constructs a project that meets GSA’s needs and arranges the necessary funding. 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, all additional cost savings accrue to GSA. The energy service company bears the risk if their improvements do not generate the projected savings. Contract terms up to 25 years are allowed.

The Deep Retrofit Challenge was announced in October, and the list of 30 buildings is now published in a Notice of Opportunity for the 16 energy service companies to bid on these projects. The buildings in the challenge were identified by GSA regional energy and portfolio managers based on renovation and alteration needs and potential savings opportunities.

In addition to the Presidential Memorandum on Implementation of Energy Savings Projects and Performance-Based Contracting issued in December 2011, President Obama issued Executive Order 13514 on Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance in 2009, which requires agencies to meet a number of energy, water, and waste reduction targets in existing federal buildings.

The list of buildings and the Notice of Opportunity are posted on website.

The 16 Energy Service Companies can be found on the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program website.


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