The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy recently held a hearing entitled, “Public Private Partnerships (P3s) for Federal Energy Management.” Committee members discussed the current status, challenges, and opportunities for increasing energy efficiency savings and conservation in federal facilities and programs, which would be done through the primary U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) public-private partnerships (P3s) of Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) and Utility Energy Service Contracts (UESCs). Testifying before the committee was Ms. Leslie Nicholls, Strategic Director for Federal Energy Management Program at DOE; Mr. Jack Surash, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy and Sustainability at the U.S Department of the Army (DOA); Mr. Kevin Kampschroer, Chief Sustainability Officer and Director of the Office of Federal High-Performance Buildings at the General Services Administration (GSA); and Mr. Ed Bradley, Executive Director of the Office of Asset Enterprise Management at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
In his opening statement, Subcommittee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) urged the subcommittee during the discussion to rethink the definition of a “federal building” and “energy savings.” He also asked the members to consider how energy efficiency upgrades impact facility operations and maintenance life-cycle costs. Upton further discussed the need to examine how ESPCs and UESCs and continue to deliver energy savings. Ranking Member Bobby Rush (D-IL) highlighted the concern that the lack of consistent reporting impedes the ability to accurately determine savings. He also asserted that ESPCs and UESCs play a role in addressing energy efficiency improvements. Witnesses provided testimony on the use of ESPCs and UESCs by discussing how to better use energy efficiency life-cycle cost analysis, and resilience in federal buildings.
As Congress and the Administration continue to examine innovative infrastructure financing techniques, building for resilience, and minimizing the impacts of climate change; the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) continues to urge for investment in our national infrastructure system to strengthen our nation.