Updated: August 18, 2017
The state of North Carolina has one state statue for Guaranteed Energy Savings Performance Contracting (GESPC) that covers all four public market sectors: state agencies, local units of government, universities, and K-12 school districts. The statue allows for a scope of work that includes all measures that pay for themselves in energy savings, operational savings, use of water savings, and renewable technologies, as well as savings from behavior training. Other details in statue include 20 year limits on contracts, a requirement for a savings guarantee, and a provision that allows the agency to retain excess savings.
North Carolina benchmarks energy usage in K-12 facilities and community colleges and technical colleges. The state tracks GESPC projects in all state buildings, including community colleges, technical colleges and universities.
In the past there have been examples where the verified savings have exceeded the guarantee. Success stories include:
- In the summer of 2017 the North Carolina Department of Transportation replaced existing highway lighting statewide with energy-efficient LEDs as part of a massive GESPC project with a $32.3 million price tag. The contract covers 15 years with a guaranteed savings of more than $50 million in electrical and operational costs.
- North Carolina State University has reduced campus energy use by 33 percent and water use by 50 percent per gross square foot since the early 2000s despite a more than 50 percent increase in campus square footage. Among the largest single contributors to campus energy reduction is the addition of energy-saving cogeneration technology at NC State’s Cates Utility Plant in 2012. The energy retrofits were funded by a GESPC.
- Robeson Community College is working toward making its campus greener. Robeson Community College trustees approved a GESPC to make all of the buildings on the RCC main campus in Lumberton and at COMtech in Pembroke more energy-efficient. As part of the project the college borrowed just under $3 million to make all of the energy-saving improvements. The loan is for 14 years with an interest rate at 2.18 percent.
- The $6.2 million in energy efficiency retrofits being made throughout most of the Hoke school system in Sandy Grove - are being paid for by guarantees of $8.1 million in energy savings over the next 15 years. Sandy Grove Elementary/Hoke Superintendent Freddie Williamson said the performance contract method was the only way the low-wealth school system could finance needed work without increasing taxes or debt. He said it also allowed the school system to pursue its goals of having comfortable classrooms that are conducive to learning along with 21st century energy efficiency.
- North Carolina State University has a $60 million, 17-year GESPC, that produced over $10 million in guaranteed energy savings the first two years of the performance period.
- Appalachian State University has a $16.3 million GESPC that covers 1.6 million square feet of space spread over 28 campus buildings. All of the energy efficient equipment and system improvements will be paid from energy savings over a 13-year contract term.
- City of Greensboro: The city's GESPC for facility improvement measures at the Greensboro Coliseum is estimated to reduce the electrical energy usage of the facility by nearly 25 percent, water consumption by nearly 30 percent, and gas use by more than 50 percent. These improvement measures will result in energy reductions equivalent to three tons a year in CO2 emissions.
- Wilson County reduced its utility costs by $107,000 annually after completing a $900,000 GESPC in 2007 to improve comfort levels and operating efficiency at 10 county buildings. The county later launched a second performance contract that addressed the county’s Detention Center and a newly acquired office property for the Administration group. The $330,000 phase two project is saving the county an additional $29,000 annually.
- To date (2016), more than 75 public jurisdictions throughout North Carolina have executed guaranteed energy savings performance contracts, leveraging more than $500 million in private sector investments into an estimated $50 million in guaranteed annual energy cost savings.
The North Carolina program employees multiple team-members in the oversight of GESPC in the state. The North Carolina program also works with local units of government in implementing GESPC projects at the local level.
The state program uses a set of standardized instruments to promote success and help mitigate risk for the program participants. The documents are publicly posted on the internet.
The state's public sector program manager participates as the public sector in the North Carolina ESC Chapter. The Chapter formed more than a decade ago, and meets monthly and conducts workshops throughout the state.