Veterans Administration Using NORESCO for Energy Efficiency Projects in El Paso, Albuquerque

military installationThe Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center in Albuquerque and the El Paso VA Health Care System in the city of the same name receive almost $22 million in upgrades through an energy savings performance contract (ESPC) with NORESCO, which is part of a United Technologies Corp. unit.

The work will include energy management and control system enhancements, air handler upgrades, new boilers, improvements to the chilled water system, rooftop solar technology and LED lighting, the vendor says. The contract will result in more than $33.8 million in savings and lead to as much as 70 percent reductions in heating costs.

The military in general and the Veterans’ Administration in particular seem to be great fits for ESPCs. They are taking advantage of the approach, which focuses on energy upgrades without upfront costs to the customer. The companies performing the upgrades and retrofits benefit from the ensuring energy savings.

The U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs offers an interactive state-by-state map of ongoing projects, though it does designate whether they are ESPCs or traditional contracts. California, for instance, currently has projects at 24 VA facilities listed. In some cases, more than one energy efficiency project is going on simultaneously at a given location. Two other examples: Eleven projects are ongoing in New York, while none are underway in Idaho.

In July, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) entered into an ESPC with Ameresco for four federal buildings in Washington, D.C. One of the buildings is the headquarters of the VA. The total value of the contract is $72.2 million. The press release says that 24 energy efficiency measures will be implemented across 3.2 million square feet. The only indication in the press release about what will happen in particular building is that LEDs and smart building controls will be deployed in all four.

The importance with which the DoE sees energy efficiency is illustrated by an award bestowed on a five-member VA team for work done at the VA Marion Medical Center in the Northern Indiana Health Care Center. The 2016 Federal Energy and Water Management Award was given for creation of an ESPC that is projected to save $817,000 annually. Natural gas use is projected to be reduced by 59 percent and electricity by 14 percent.

In November, 2015, Energy Services Group and TECO Energy presented an in depth slide show on an ESPC at the James A. Hayley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa. The slides from the presentation, which was made before a Federal Utility Partnership Working Group meeting, provide significant insight into how ESPC can be used to provide low cost/high value upgrades to medical facilities.

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