DOE Announces Energy-Saving Project at U.S. Forest Service Sites Leveraging Nearly $2.5 Million in Private Investment

June 22, 2011

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced today an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) project at more than 50 U.S. Forest Service sites. The project, awarded by the U.S. Forest Service to Honeywell International, will use avoided energy costs to leverage private-sector investment to help improve the energy efficiency of facilities in the Forest Service’s Northern Region, which encompasses 25 million acres in 5 states. Administered by DOE, the Forest Service contracted with Honeywell to install energy-saving measures at sites in Montana and Idaho that will reduce annual energy consumption by 16 percent. The project will leverage almost $2.5 million in private investment to install energy efficient and renewable energy technologies and will support the equivalent of 27 jobs for a year. The resulting improvements will save the Forest Service over $267,000 in energy costs in the first year and approximately 14 billion British thermal units (Btu) per year—enough to power 147 homes annually.

In addition to making energy efficiency upgrades, the project will take advantage of renewable energy systems as part of its energy-saving strategy. The project includes a new 4.9 kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) system at the Kings Hill Ranger Station in White Sulphur Springs, Montana. The PV array consists of 20 flat-plate panels mounted in a fixed position. Because of the high cost of electric heating in Fortine, Montana, the project also includes installing a wood-pellet boiler in an eight-bay garage shop as part of an effort to cut the shop’s annual heating costs almost in half.

ESPCs are designed to help the federal government conserve energy and water and increase the use of clean renewable energy—all without adding to the national budget deficit. An ESPC is a partnership between a federal agency and an energy service company (ESCO). The ESCO conducts a comprehensive energy audit for the federal facility and identifies improvements to save energy. In consultation with the federal agency, the ESCO designs and constructs a project that meets the agency's needs and arranges the necessary financing. The ESCO guarantees that the improvements will generate energy cost savings sufficient to pay for the project over the term of the contract. After the contract ends, all additional cost savings accrue to the agency.

The Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) ESPC contracts are administered by DOE and are available to all federal agencies. DOE provides the expertise for both technical and financial aspects throughout the development of each project. The federal government is the largest single user of energy in the United States, and ESPCs provide federal agencies with access to alternative financing at a scale that is needed to meet the challenge of boosting the use of renewable energy and reducing energy and water consumption. For more information on energy savings performance contracts, please visit the ESPC home page.

DOE’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) facilitates the federal government's implementation of sound, cost-effective energy management and investment practices to enhance the nation's energy security and environmental stewardship.