FAQ’s

Answers to commonly asked questions.

FAQ’s

Answers to commonly asked questions.

Energy Savings Performance Contracting

What distinguishes an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) from a basic construction contract?

Most construction contracts are capital intensive and require significant time to secure funding – oftentimes competing with other priorities. Once funding is secured and construction is underway, careful oversight must be maintained, so the system will operate as designed upon commissioning.

With an ESPC, the cost of the project is paid for with the audited energy savings generated by the system or equipment upgrade. For that reason, selecting the right Energy Services Company (ESCO) is critical because the terms of the contract require the ESCO to guarantee that the retrofit will meet or exceed the savings required to fund the construction. The right ESCO will design a project that will maximize the savings opportunity while not promising savings that do not materialize.

At Con Edison Solutions, our in-house technical expertise ensures that the equipment or system meets or exceeds the original performance specifications and reports are generated annually based upon various measurement and verification (M&V) metrics for the life of the contract (~18 years or more).

In addition, Con Edison Solutions guarantees that the new systems will perform as expected, and that the projected savings from utility bills and operating budgets are realized by the client, over the entire life of the contract.

When does it make the most sense to do an ESPC?

Our clients receive the most value from an ESPC when their energy infrastructure is near the end of its useful life or their facilities are in need of a major energy audit. Often, these critical building systems are overlooked until they are close to a dangerous failure point. If maintenance or audit records are unavailable, or it’s been more than a few years since the last energy audit, consider an ESPC project.

Older, more inefficient equipment offers the best opportunity to obtain the greatest amount of energy savings when upgraded. Remember that a long-term ESPC project enables you to make comprehensive energy system upgrades to your facilities without impacting your capital budget.

What are the most common energy conservation measures (ECMs) used in an ESPC?

An ESPC project will identify the most cost-effective conservation measures for each particular facility. Building equipment that consumes the most energy and water are the focal points of an ESPC: lighting and lighting controls; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment; water pumps, motors; central chiller plants; boilers; combined heat and power (CHP) distributed generation; and the various building automation control (BAC) systems or building management systems (BMS). ECMs are always custom-designed to optimize facility operations while minimizing the consumption of energy, water, and other valuable resources. Renewable generation alternatives, like solar, that replace energy drawn from the grid will also be analyzed for potential deployment.

By bundling ECMs with shorter payback periods together with those with longer payback periods, our clients maximize both their energy and cost savings. Bundling ECMs also optimizes the financial leverage to do a more expensive but valuable individual measure that might not be economical to do on a stand-alone basis.

What type of financial and environmental benefits stem from a comprehensive ESPC project?

By taking a comprehensive approach across the full spectrum of energy and water infrastructure for our clients’ facilities, Con Edison Solutions delivers the widest array of benefits possible to our clients. Not only are the monetary savings guaranteed from the avoided utility and maintenance costs from operating the facilities more efficiently, but our clients enjoy improved occupant productivity from upgraded space conditioning and lighting.

Improving environmental comfort parameters, such as temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide levels, within our clients’ facilities can help clients meet and/or exceed compliance with the current applicable standards from the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Illuminating Engineers Society (IES).

In addition, our staff of energy professionals support our clients with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certification by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) for sustainable design and practices in new and existing buildings across six key areas of human and environmental health. Many of our staff are LEED Accredited Professionals.

Benefits also extend to Energy Star® performance-based certification, a nationally recognized commitment to energy conservation, which is given to only the top 25% of the most energy-efficient buildings in the U.S.

How does an ESPC assist hospital and healthcare administrators with Joint Commission compliancy?

For our hospital and healthcare clients, our ESPC programs include data metrics reporting that demonstrate key Joint Commission compliance standards. The Joint Commission accredits and certifies nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. Our hospital and healthcare administrator clients rely on our professional energy engineers to meet and/or exceed the stringent, energy-related compliance goals of The Joint Commission.

Utilizing our team’s decades of experience performing energy projects in hospitals, Con Edison Solutions ensures that our medical facility clients continue to provide the Gold Standard for the quality and safety of patient care and are able to achieve the highest level of accreditation awarded by The Joint Commission.

Design & Build

How do our Design/Build Services unify all the elements of an energy system construction project and deliver peace of mind?

When our clients decide to improve their services and expand, enhance, or create new facilities for their organizations, Con Edison Solutions provides a unified set of engineering, design, and construction management services to achieve the highest quality of energy performance standards.

Our Design/Build Services combine and unite the multiple points of contact from the various firms involved in energy system construction projects, including engineering, architecture, design, construction, and the many specialty subcontractors. Con Edison Solutions acts as the general contractor and point of contact, coordinating and managing all the various subcontractors. This method of construction project delivery ensures the fastest project completion time with the lowest possible risk, while following strict budgetary guidelines.

Teamwork, collaboration, pride, trust, mutual respect, and excellence of workmanship are the hallmarks of all Con Edison Solutions design/build projects. Our clients, from federal, state and local agencies to public or private universities, school districts, hospitals, and healthcare facilities, all enjoy the peace of mind that comes from a successful energy infrastructure construction project, managed by Con Edison Solutions’ experts in energy efficiency.

What is EPC?

EPC refers to a comprehensive method of delivering a project that includes Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC). If you want to own the renewable power system built for your property and obtain all of the associated benefits of ownership as opposed to leasing the system in a long-term contract or through a Power Purchase Agreement, Con Edison Solutions has decades of experience engineering, designing, procuring, and constructing renewable power systems to meet the needs of our customers.

We have delivered renewable energy systems for a variety of organizations at all levels of government and education, as well as for hospitals and businesses.

Renewable Energy Solutions

What is renewable energy?

Renewable energy is energy that is collected from renewable resources that are naturally replenished. This includes solar, wind, geothermal, and hydroelectric power. Electricity generated from these sources has an additional environmental benefit since they produce negligible or zero carbon dioxide when power is generated. The renewable energy systems offered by Con Edison Solutions enable power to be generated onsite or on a nearby site—reducing or eliminating the amount of energy that needs to be purchased from the grid.

What types of buildings can be powered from a renewable energy power system?

All buildings can potentially benefit from renewable power systems. Roof-mounted, ground-mounted, or carport solar power systems make it possible to design a solar power system for almost any property. Wind turbines can also be installed on some properties.

Why should I consider investing in a renewable energy power system?

Renewable energy is clean, safe, and reliable. Renewable energy can provide a hedge against future utility energy rate hikes and offers a predictable cost for energy.

How do I estimate my potential savings from a renewable energy power system?

Renewable power system design, size and other factors will impact the output you can expect. Your energy demand and the cost for electricity in your area are two important factors that impact how much you can save on your utility bill. By working with Con Edison Solutions, you will get a detailed analysis of all these factors, as well as all available federal, state, and local incentives, to help understand how a renewable power system can “green” your bottom line.

What is a Renewable Energy Certificate (REC)?

In many states, electricity produced from a renewable power installation has an assigned value in addition to the value of the energy generated. Essentially, “property rights” are assigned to the renewable electricity that is generated and delivered to the grid. Some states have rules to allow those energy property rights to be banked, traded, and sold.

As each standard unit of renewable energy is produced and delivered to the grid the common standard unit of energy used is one megawatt hour (1 MWh)—an associated Renewable Energy Credit (REC) for that 1 MWh is legally created and accounted for by a third-party auditor. Each REC represents a “certificate of environmental attributes” produced from a renewable source of electricity for each 1 MWh of energy. These RECs can be retired, in order to claim the “green” benefits of the electricity produced, or sold to others to offset the cost of the installation. Con Edison Solutions has years of experience in the rules regarding REC production and qualification and can help you explore your options for adding renewable energy to your facility’s energy mix.

What is a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)?

A Power Purchase Agreement allows a property owner to obtain the benefits of renewable energy with little or no upfront capital expenditures. Essentially, a system is designed and built at a client’s property by Con Edison Solutions. Con Edison Solutions maintains ownership and is responsible for the ongoing operation and maintenance of the system. The property owner simply purchases the power generated by the system at an agreed upon price for a pre-determined period of time.

What is a Carbon Offset?

A carbon offset is an action taken to reduce or store carbon dioxide in one location to compensate for the emissions of carbon through another activity. This may include energy conservation or reforestation to offset carbon dioxide produced from a manufacturing process. Renewable energy can sometimes be used to offset carbon emissions.

What is Net Metering?

Net metering is available in some states. It is a utility tariff that allows properties that generate onsite electricity from a renewable power system to distribute any excess energy (i.e., energy not consumed at the property) back into the local grid to help make the grid greener.

Depending on the state, the owner of the renewable power system may be compensated for the energy provided back into the local grid at either the full retail price of electricity or a lesser price linked to the utility’s alternatives for electricity supply. Con Edison Solutions can explain the utility programs that apply to your specific facilities.

What is the connection between LEED® Certification and renewable energy?

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) was developed as a national benchmark in the design, construction and operation of environmentally friendly buildings. Various levels of LEED certification indicate how well a building meets the established benchmark standards, and are often desired by property owners since it helps demonstrate their commitment to the environment. Renewable power systems can be a major factor in qualifying for LEED certification.

What is a Watt, Kilowatt, Megawatt, Demand, On & Off Peak Usage?

A Watt (W) is a basic unit of measure of electric power (measures the rate of energy conversion).

1 Kilowatt (kW) = 1,000 W
1 Megawatt (MW) = 1,000 kW = 1,000,000 W

A Kilowatt Hour (kWh) is power in kilowatts multiplied by time in hours. (Clients are billed for monthly electric use in terms of kilowatt hours.)

1 kWh = 1 kW x 1 hour.
1 Megawatt Hour (MWh) = 1,000 kW x 1 hour

Demand
is a measurement of the peak power “demanded” by a client over a relatively short period of time (measured in kW or MW). If kWh is equivalent to a car’s odometer, kW would represent the speedometer. Utilities typically charge businesses and other large power users separately for demand in addition to their monthly usage of electricity.

On Peak and Off Peak Usage
- Each utility determines certain hours of the day that are expected to have higher than average demand for electricity. Those hours are deemed “peak” hours and tend to cost significantly more than “off-peak” hours. Typically, peak hours are in the 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. range, although there can be a significant amount of variation among utilities.

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For any other questions, please contact us or call:

ENERGY SERVICES

  • Consulting, ESPC and Design/Build: (888) 210-8899

RENEWABLE ENERGY 

  • Commercial Solar and Wind: (866) 915-0441
  • Residential Solar (in CT, MA and NY): (844) 368-2879