June 25, 2020 02:40 PM Eastern Daylight Time
WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The National Association of Energy Service Companies (NAESCO) is proud to support the introduction of the Open Back Better Act of 2020 by U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) and U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE).
The Act will invest $20 billion of federal funds, leveraged by $80 billion of private investment through energy savings performance contracts, in the renewal of America’s mission critical facilities – schools, colleges and universities, hospitals, police and fire stations, water and wastewater treatment plants – to make them better prepared to overcome the challenges of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and to meet the challenges of the next natural disaster or pandemic.
“Today, state and local governments are struggling to determine how they can reopen schools and universities to educate young people when many of these facilities do not meet current safety and energy efficiency standards,” said NAESCO Executive Director Dr. Timothy D. Unruh. “The buildings are neither flexible nor efficient enough to accommodate the smaller class sizes, occupant spacing, enhanced ventilation and extended operating schedules that public health experts say are necessary to keep students and teachers safe. The Act will provide the resources to get students back into the classroom without endangering community health and will be a down payment on the investment required to reduce the estimated $1 trillion deferred maintenance backlog in public facilities nationwide.”
NAESCO Chairman Charles McGinnis noted that, “the government will not bear the full cost of making public facilities safe and secure, efficient, resilient and flexible. Instead, the Act will expand the use of a proven public-private partnership vehicle, which has successfully delivered $7 billion of projects to public facilities last year alone. Private investors will advance more than three-quarters of the needed funds, and their investment will be repaid by repurposing the money that public facilities currently spend on wasted energy and the maintenance of obsolete equipment.”
“Equally important here are the tens of thousands of good, solid construction jobs in every community across the country – jobs that cannot be outsourced abroad,” added Unruh. “And the Buy American provisions of Open Back Better will push U.S. companies to expand their domestic operations or repatriate formerly outsourced production to provide the estimated $55 billion of products and equipment that public facilities will need.”
NAESCO also applauds the support of several major national organizations, including the Alliance to Save Energy (ASE), the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), the Federal Performance Contracting Coalition (FPCC) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
“We are confident that many other national organizations will join our core group as the Act builds public support in the coming weeks. We and our partners thank Sen. Smith and Rep. Blunt Rochester for initiating legislation that we anticipate will be a cornerstone of the national recovery effort,” said Unruh.
The National Association of Energy Service Companies (NAESCO) is the leading advocacy and accreditation organization for Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) and is dedicated to modernizing America’s building infrastructure through performance contracting. Uniting the energy service industry, NAESCO promotes favorable government policies; sponsors a rigorous accreditation program; provides training and education; and champions the interests of ESCOs across the nation.
ESCOs contract with private and public sector energy users to provide cost-effective energy efficiency retrofits across a wide spectrum of client facilities, from college campuses to water treatment plants. Effectively utilizing a performance-based contract business model, ESCOs have implemented more than $50 billion in comprehensive energy efficiency retrofit projects over the last three decades.
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