The Eco Engineering Approach
Driven by energy-focused commitments, a desire to improve sustainability and the continuing mandate to reduce operating costs, government organizations are looking for proactive ways to reduce energy use in municipal, state and federal facilities without asking reluctant taxpayers to foot the bill. As such, the government is taking a leadership role in setting new standards for energy efficiency, establishing goals for net-zero installations, and improving operational energy security. Energy Saving Performance Contracts (ESPCs) are effective tools in this proactive approach to sustainability and energy savings without asking taxpayers to foot the bill.
Increasingly, these governmental entities are turning to energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) to help make building lighting more efficient. Why the focus on lighting? Lighting consumes nearly 38 percent of the electricity used in a typical government facility.
Eco Engineering has a long and established history working with ESCO clients in the government sector. We have successfully designed and implemented the lighting portion of major ESPCs for municipalities, states and the federal government. Our expertise extends to all types of facilities, including police, fire and military installations, prisons, office buildings, data centers, and the immense energy savings potential associated with exterior and outdoor lighting components.
The benefits also extend well beyond efficiency, since oft embedded lighting controls make the environment more responsive and more comfortable. These intelligent controls are able to create usage and energy reports, interact with building management systems and tie into microgrids, all of which can positively impact mission effectiveness.
The long-term nature of ESPCs, combined with the rapid pace of change in lighting control technology, has led forward-thinking government jurisdictions to re-evaluate their lighting control strategies. In addition to traditional energy-saving measures like occupancy sensors that deliver immediate, short-term results, ESPCs may include advanced strategies, such as daylight harvesting, that maximize energy efficiency and controllability over time. Recently, the GSA reported that daylight harvesting, in combination with automatic dimming control, has the potential to contribute significant energy savings throughout its federal portfolio.
A short term approach does effectively deliver immediate results, but this approach can be less productive in the long run, even resulting in large areas of an installation getting locked into technologies that ultimately save less energy, and are unable to support progressive infrastructure initiatives. Eco Engineering offers alternative designs and strategies on every ESPC bid, while costs may escalate, so do the energy savings and the long term ROI associated with a contract.
In addition, federal agencies increasingly realize that if an ESPC does not provide for advanced lighting control strategies, a critical system in their facilities will not be able to connect with the smart grid or building management systems – initiatives that secure our country’s energy future –for almost two decades. When energy managers adopt a long-term approach, they also ensure that buildings will be able to appropriately respond to emerging technologies and emergency scenarios, as well as compile and report energy usage data to enable evaluation and adjustments.
Efficient lighting and lighting control technology is constantly improving, as are payback times, and LED technology is leading the way. As evidenced by the trend toward advanced lighting control systems, government facility managers are consistently working to balance both the immediate and future need.
The ESCOs engaged to design, implement and manage the ESPCs in the government sector know that a lighting specialist like Eco Engineering can improve their results, guarantee the projected outcomes and provide the energy savings the governmental jurisdiction seeks to achieve.
Ultimately, this will save taxpayer dollars and have a positive environmental impact on buildings and their occupants in all government and public facilities.