Department of Energy Selects The Brewer-Garrett Company for ESPC IDIQ Contract

The Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy has announced the selection of The Brewer-Garrett Company, one of twenty-one qualified Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) selected through a competitive process, for an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC). The IDIQ ESPC is a contracting vehicle that allows federal agencies to complete energy projects for their facilities without using taxpayer money for infrastructure improvements. The award could result in up to $5 billion in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water efficiency projects at federally-owned buildings and facilities. The U.S. government is the largest procurer of goods and services in the world. This procurement award marks the third generation of the IDIQ ESPC.

Since 1998, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) IDIQ ESPCs has awarded 362 projects at an investment pace of $2 billion every three years in federal energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements. Over the last 20 years, the DOE IDIQ have resulted in $4.9 in investment, yielding $11.9 billion in total guaranteed savings and over 27 trillion BTU of energy saved per year. The most successful year in the 20-year history of the DOE IDIQ ESPC program was in 2016. The Federal government is the largest single user of energy in the United States, and these awards demonstrate a commitment to enhance the public and private partnerships.

An ESPC project is a partnership between the government and an ESCO. The ESCO conducts a comprehensive energy audit and identifies comprehensive improvements to save energy through Energy Conservation Measures (ECM). These ECMs consist of lighting upgrades, energy dashboards, insulation upgrades, HVAC upgrades, water reduction, etc. The long-term goal is to move Federal facilities to a net zero energy consumption.

Under the IDIQ ESPC program, we will help reduce the Government’s energy spending by cutting energy waste and water usage. As an ESCO, Brewer-Garrett’s goal is to continue to offer innovative solutions that can provide energy reliability, resiliency, and efficiency. Brewer-Garrett’s regional location offers a unique opportunity to continue to build infrastructure and create jobs within the “Rust Belt” and across the United States.

More information soon to come.

Energy Efficiency: An Energy Resource that Doesn’t Provide Energy?

Energy Efficiency as an Energy Resource

Efficiency is not something that the majority of people would associate with being an energy resource. Instead, we tend to think of tangible items such as gas, coal, water, and sunlight as energy resources. It is often difficult for people to include efficiency in this list not only because it is not a tangible item, but because it does not directly provide energy. Although it doesn’t directly provide energy, it does reduce energy demand and prevents energy from being wasted. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) defines efficiency, in regards to energy, as “an energy resource capable of yielding energy and demand savings that can displace electricity generation from coal, natural gas, nuclear power, wind power, and other supply-side resources” [1]. Essentially, efficiency allows to you receive the same performance while saving money and using fewer resources.

Chart of U.S. Electricity Generation by Resource. In 2015, Energy Efficiency was the third largest energy resource.

To put the dramatic impact that energy efficiency has as a resource into perspective, the Alliance to Save Energy stated that, “we saved 57 quads in 2012 due to energy efficiency and conservation efforts taken since 1973. This is more energy than we get from any single energy source, including oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear power” [2]. The Alliance went on to estimate that, “if we tried to run today’s economy without the energy-efficiency improvements that have taken place since 1973, we would need about 60 percent more energy supplies than we use now” [2]. These statistics make it clear that conservation efforts, including energy efficiency measures, have made an impactful difference on energy demand.

A multitude of benefits are also the direct result of energy efficiency measures. Greenhouse gas reduction, for example, is good for the environment as it helps preserve our natural resources and cuts down on pollution which positively impacts our environment along with our health. These measures also save people money by decreasing energy demand which results in lower utility bills. Finally, these measures help improve the economy by saving billions of dollars a year in avoided energy costs and creating a plethora of new jobs.

With world energy consumption projected to grow 48% by 2040 [3] and our natural resources being rapidly depleted, it is clear that energy efficiency, in conjunction with renewable resources, will play a vital role in determining the sustainability of our world. Efficiency measures have already made a positive impact on our world, but they still need to be expanded. Starting to view energy efficiency as a resource is a great way to show people creative ways to make a difference and invest in our future.

By: Brian Hyland

Net Zero Energy Buildings Bridge Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

Net Zero Energy Buildings

A growing number of companies are looking to reduce their environmental footprints. Realizing the negative impacts that the burning of fossil fuels, and their current consumption patterns, has on the environment often leads people to conclude that drastic changes need to be made. One change that a growing number of people are looking towards is implementing net zero energy buildings (NZEBs). The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) defines net zero energy buildings as “a building in which energy demand is greatly reduced through efficiency gains, and the remaining energy needs are satisfied using renewable energy” [1]. Essentially, these buildings create a synergy between energy efficiency and renewable energy to increase their cost effectiveness.

The most common energy efficiency measures used in NZEBs, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency, include “advanced insulation, reduced thermal bridging, air tightness, use of the thermal mass, daylighting and ventilation strategies, and energy-efficient lighting and appliance” [1]. These measures aim to decrease the overall energy demand of the building. This, in and of itself, will decrease energy usage and save money on utilities. Additionally, these measures will help decrease the company’s environmental footprint. This fact is backed by a report from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy which stated, “energy efficiency has eliminated the need for 313 new power plants since 1990 and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 490 million tons last year” [2].

When the building is operating efficiently and the energy demands are lowered, companies are able to add additional cost savings by reducing the size and capacity of the renewable energy system that they need. The energy efficiency measures work to save companies enough money to make investing in renewable energy systems a financially plausible option.

By continuing to invest in and pursue energy efficiency programs we are continuing to work towards reducing energy demands which, in turn, reduces the amount of carbon dioxide emissions. At the same time, these programs help to facilitate growth in the renewable energy field by making it more affordable and more realistic for companies compared to renewable energy systems by themselves.

By: Brian Hyland