From the Desk of Terry E. Singer, NAESCO Executive Director

National Voice of the ESCO Industry

As the national trade association that promotes the acceleration of energy efficiency investment and the optimization of energy savings in public and private sector facilities nationwide, we are proud that our industry and our members provide the energy efficiency investment and technical capabilities which serve as the foundation of a cost effective, sustainable, and environmentally sound energy infrastructure.

NAESCO’s mission can be described as making the case

  • through advocacy,
  • the issuance of industry reports based on data NAESCO collects on industry performance,
  • through workshops, webinars and conferences,
  • as well as on social media,

that energy efficiency plus performance contracting = infrastructure upgrades, additional capital budgeting monies that can be reprogrammed for other strategic purposes, and JOBS, JOBS, JOBS.

We believe that the opportunities for this industry are considerable and we continue to be very bullish on the ESCO model of energy efficiency resource delivery. In late April, in response to a request from DOE, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) updated its estimate of the potential market for performance contracting. The new LBNL estimate is that if the barriers still in place were to be removed, the potential size of the federal market is $9-15 billion and the potential national market (excluding the private sector) is $130-223 billion. Including private sector buildings increases the potential market size to over $300 billion.

Perhaps one of the most significant functions that NAESCO performs is to advocate for energy efficiency and its providers at federal and state proceedings. After leading the charge for the past three years to extend the federal 179(d) tax provision beyond its initial sunset  and having been successful in obtaining extensions that covered the 2014 through 2016 tax years, NAESCO is continuing its effort in this Congressional session.

We work closely with federal agency staff to provide industry input and are part of several national coalitions that work on federal market issues and have worked together this year to create a list of priorities for the Administration. We have sought to highlight the multi-layered benefits of ESPCs and the crucial role that ESCOs play in energy consumption reduction and infrastructure improvements.  We are very pleased that the Trump Administration is a strong supporter of ESPC as they view ESPCs as a good example of a public-private partnership. The IDIQ awards this spring is just one example of the continued federal commitment to the ESPC and UESC program.

NAESCO pursues both offensive and defensive strategies protecting good policies and programs so that they flourish and grow as well as promoting new and innovative policies to expand the use of energy efficiency and performance contracting.

During 2017, NAESCO’s state advocacy efforts have largely been divided between

  • Defending against potentially dangerous legislative attempts in a number of states to cripple successful ESPC programs—these states include Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, Colorado, North Carolina and Connecticut--,
  • Working in two states that offer opportunities to improve ESCO industry prospects in the short term --Texas and Michigan—and;
  • Participating vigorously in the precedent-setting states of California and New York where we are working to assure that multi-year proceedings to re-vamp energy efficiency programs and utility regulation offer new opportunities for ESCOs.

We as an industry and an Association cannot flag in our efforts to continue to promote the implementation of long term verifiable energy efficiency and the creation of sustainable energy savings. We see both the opportunities and the challenges as NAESCO advocates on behalf of the energy services industry and works to facilitate the highest industry standards and practices through our Accreditation program, industry Ombudsman, and our development of model documentation reflecting industry best practices.

We also want to take a moment to recognize the active role of our membership in working with us to aggressively pursue industry growth and development. Our affiliate members have provided amazing support in the rollout of activities and initiatives over the course of the year including four webinars that they helped design.

NAESCO’s advocacy work in 2017 has been built around growing market opportunities for ESCOs and their key providers and partners and we expect to build on this effort in 2018. Key priorities include the following:

  • Ensuring that federal administrative policies continue the high level of performance contracting work in the Trump administration;
  • Supporting national and state policy initiatives that will boost energy efficiency and performance contracting;
  • Proactively advocating for ESCO business friendly laws, regulations, and guidelines, such as supporting the extension of federal tax deductions and credits that boost energy efficiency and performance contracting;
  • Defending ESCO enabling legislation or policies that are under attack; and,
  • Working to relieve the bottlenecks that are crippling state buildings ESPC programs in several states with large potential ESPC markets.

NAESCO OFFICERS

Natasha Shah (NORESCO) has been elected for a third year as the NAESCO Chair. Chuck McGinnis (JCI) will serve as our Vice Chair and our Corporate Secretary is Mike Perna (ConEdisonSolutions). Our Treasurer remains Scott Ririe (CTS) who is serving his third year in this role. The officers represent different types of ESCOs and have focused on managing the many challenges as well as opportunities facing the industry and working hard to ensure NAESCO continues to provide thoughtful and dynamic leadership.

WORKSHOPS, CONFERENCES, AND WEBINARS

In 2017, NAESCO hosted regional meetings in Washington, DC; St. Louis, Missouri; and a national conference in Los Angeles, California. In 2018, NAESCO is planning to host its 13th annual federal market workshop in Washington, DC on March 14th, a dual track technology and financing focused workshop in Milwaukee on June 12-13th, and its 35th national conference in Orlando on October 31-November 2nd.

NAESCO offered four webinars throughout 2017 and plans to present another four webinars in 2018. CEU credits were available, as they were for sessions at the workshops and conference.

COMMUNICATIONS AND OUTREACH

NAESCO Website

The website is continuously being updated. Additional photos, video links, and case studies were added throughout the site and the website was made smartphone and tablet-user friendly. We have expanded visibility and marketing opportunities for member companies on the NAESCO website.

Social Media

Our NAESCO Twitter account @NAESCONews promotes the organization, its advocacy efforts and events, as well as to promote members and their projects.  To date, @NAESCONews has 785  followers and we continue to add approximately 50 followers per month. Members are also encouraged to tweet during the workshops and the Annual Conference, using a designated hashtag.

Promotion of NAESCO Accreditation as Market Differentiator

Policy makers and program administrators are struggling to identify experienced, high-quality energy service providers and NAESCO continues to expand its efforts to communicate the value of its rigorous accreditation program as a ready-made solution. Our Accreditation program began 20+ years ago in 1996 and we currently have 8 Accredited Energy Service Providers, 17 Accredited ESCOs, and 2 Accredited Energy Efficiency Contractors.

Annual Sponsorships

Annual Sponsorships provide a higher degree of member recognition throughout the year and we are very grateful for the support of our annual sponsors. Philips, Rexel Energy Solutions, and Blue Energy Group served as Platinum sponsors in 2017. Annual Gold sponsors included Synergy Companies and UCONS, which have served as gold sponsors for the past nine years, and Walker Reid Strategies, which has served as a sponsor for the last four years. Our Silver sponsor is Lutron also serving as a sponsor for the last four years.

Measurement and Verification

The Board of Directors recognizes that there are ongoing debates in the industry and among policy makers about the appropriate level of measurement and verification in different market sectors. The Board designated the formation of a Measurement and Verification Subcommittee in 2017 which will continue its charge in 2018 to address some of the legislative and legal challenges we have seen over the past few years and work to re-establish the differentiation of ESCOs from other contractors.

Conclusion

As we approach our 35th year as an association, NAESCO is proud to be the leading organization of the ESCO industry and of the many benefits and opportunities it has provided to our members in 2017.  In the coming year, NAESCO will continue to provide a strong and effective voice for the industry while pursuing creation of new market opportunities for your goods and services.  We stand committed to moving industry causes forward and to promoting the good and essential work our members do to address the energy and infrastructure challenges faced by our nation. We hope you will continue to support NAESCO and participate actively in NAESCO initiatives and activities in 2018.

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