Welcome to Energy Services Today

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Energy Services Today, a publication of Energy Services Media.

When we first became exposed to the energy services industry we saw broad examples of innovation that were going unnoticed. We met people who were changing and improving their organizations, who were under-recognized. We found organizations, big and small, that were forging ahead into the world of sustainability using new technologies and customized financial models. Many existing media platforms overlooked the accomplishments of the industry.  Out of this research came the idea for Energy Services Today

Industry History

The industry has grown and evolved over time to become, what some believe to be, a $10B industry but it has not always been the dynamic market that it is today.   

In the early 1990’s public sector facilities managers had little ability to impact their energy use. They often requested funds to do energy efficiency upgrades but were denied in favor of more pressing priorities. If they were lucky enough to get funds, the energy they saved would be returned to a general account through a zero-based budgeting practice. They often were only able to do projects that had a very quick payback, often as short as three years. In the unlikely event that they received funding for the energy efficiency project, they were often required to hire consultants, prepare plans, and bid out the projects. This was often slow, costly, and did not have accountability to results. Many projects did not achieve the desired savings and the industry floundered.

When the first Guaranteed Energy Savings Performance Contract (GESPC) also known as Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) project was considered, it shaped a model that suggested that, for the first time, the budget for utilities (an operational budget) could be used to retire a long term debt. The logic was that if the savings were guaranteed by a qualified company, over the term of the contract, it would be considered an investment-grade opportunity.  Politicians, legislators, and facility directors all got behind the idea.

From 1990 through 2000, as many as 40 states adopted resolutions to support the Energy Services industry.  As the industry grew, standards were developed.

In the mid-1990s, the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP) was created which established the first operating standard for energy savings guarantees. In that same time frame, the National Association of Energy Service Companies ( NAESCO) also created a formal accreditation program to further reinforce new standards for the industry. As the industry broadcasted new quality standards, the industry grew into the dynamic market that it is today.

Energy Services Today

Today’s energy services market consists of projects with 20-30 year paybacks that address whole-building retrofits. Public-Private Partnerships are stretching projects and financing terms to 40 years. Energy services projects are addressing such under-funded projects as deferred maintenance, resiliency, and renewable energy. This seems to be only the beginning of a new age in energy services.  Other complicating issues such as grid reliability, limited water resources, and greenhouse gas emissions ensure that the energy services industry will evolve, adapt and attract new people into the industry.

The readers of Energy Services Today range from industry leaders and experts to those who may just be learning about the industry for the first time. This first issue was distributed to over 8,000 individuals in the public sector, including key decision-makers of K-12 Schools, Universities & Colleges, Hospitals, State and Local Governments, and Federal Agencies. We expect to double our distribution over the next year.

Energy Services Today is a resource and platform of communication for the Energy Services Industry. Our content is curated through the knowledge and experience of the industry. This is conducted through interviews and research. Guest writers, who are industry leaders and experts, will also make a splash in the publication. In this publication, you’ll find the following sections:

Front Line: Interviews with State Energy Offices & Programs

Industry Spotlight: Highlighting an industry-leading organization

Measurement & Verification (M&V): Stories and interviews discussing the benefit, process, and best practices for M&V

Beyond the Savings: Stories detailing projects producing outcomes beyond energy savings

Missing Link: Education & Changing Behavior: Stories and interviews illustrating programs and games that have been created to educate and demonstrate how to be conscious of energy use, energy efficiency, and sustainability

Resources: Descriptions of organizations and tools available in the industry to help guide and build energy programs

Energy Services Today is a quarterly publication of Energy Services Media.  The 2020 Media plan will feature the following:

• February/March: Public-Private Partnerships (P3),  Higher Education Profiles

• June/July: Energy as a Service (EaaS), ESPC, PACE, and Renewable Energy

Our Gratitude

The creation of the publication has been a journey, and there were many individuals and organizations along the way that made it possible. I genuinely appreciate all of those that were a part of this first issue and shared my vision and belief in Energy Services Today. Thank you to the following: Carilyn Shon & Hawaii State Energy Office, Erica Velarde & New Mexico State General Services Department, Tim Unruh & the NAESCO Organization, Chris Halpin & Celtic Energy NV5 Team, Jim Rufo & Virginia Department of Military Affairs, WESCO Team, Russ Schumacher & Nexus Solutions Team, Tom Hogan & ABM Team, David Birr, David Carter & Kansas State Energy Program Team, Jim Arwood & ESC Organization, David Terry & NASEO Organization, Michael Nenni, Dr. David NieKamp, and the Nenni & Associates Team. In addition, thank you to the State Energy Offices that responded and participated in the Pre-Qualified ESCO listing.

– Julie Chesna, Founder & Editor-in-Chief