Sens. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, and Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, along with Reps. Peter Welch, D-Vermont, and Adam Kinzinger, R-Illinois, introduced June 4 the Energy Savings Through Public-Private Partnerships Act of 2019
The legislation encourages the use of Energy Savings Performance Contracts and Utility Energy Savings Contracts in federal buildings.
Mandatory federal audits already outline energy savings projects for federal facilities aimed at reducing energy consumption and saving tax dollars; however, federal agencies are not required to implement these changes. This legislation changes that by requiring that the projects be done and that at least half of the projects be paid for by ESPCs or UESCs. It also expands the types of savings that can be used to repay the contracts to keep pace with changes in technology and energy markets.
ESPCs and UESCs are innovative public-private partnerships in which private companies use their own money and resources to make energy efficiency upgrades to federal buildings. In exchange for making energy efficient upgrades, those private companies receive a portion of the money saved as a result of the increased efficiency in federal buildings. ESPCs and UESCs create private sector jobs upgrading the federal government’s estimated three billion square feet of office space at no real cost to taxpayers.
“Increasing energy efficiency and saving taxpayer dollars through public-private partnerships makes good sense and is an area with bipartisan support,” said Coons. “I’m proud to introduce legislation that simultaneously supports local jobs, reduces the energy and water bills of the federal government and invests in a more sustainable future.”
The Energy Savings Through Public-Private Partnerships Act of 2019 is supported by the Federal Performance Contracting Coalition, the National Association of State Energy Officials and the National Association of Energy Service Companies.