US firm secures UK public sector energy deals

Leading energy efficiency and renewable energy company Ameresco has announced that its UK division has secured a place on four key frameworks after targeting the public sector as a major area for growth.

The frameworks – which between them include procurement services for the whole UK public sector, including NHS trusts, central government, housing associations and local authorities – are: Re:Fit; The Carbon & Energy Fund (CEF); Scottish non- Domestic Energy Efficiency Program (ScNDEE); Yorkshire Procurement Organisation (YPO) CHP Framework.

The frameworks will use Energy Performance Contracts (EPCs) to secure funding for investing in new and improved energy efficiency systems and technologies. Typically each contract through the framework will be looking at achieving between 15pc and 30pc in energy savings every year.

Through the process, Ameresco will have the opportunity to identify, design and implement a range of cost and energy and carbon saving measures such as lighting, heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC), control systems and where appropriate renewable technologies. Ameresco UK will then guarantee the savings for the duration of the contract and report savings through a robust monitoring and verification program.

Britta MacIntosh, VP of UK Operations London, said: “This is a significant and strategic move for Ameresco UK. Six months ago we had a minimal presence in the public sector in the UK. With a position on the frameworks for EPCs targeting the public sector, we intend to be very active in identifying and pursuing the right opportunities.

“Ameresco has been built on a foundation of robust engineering expertise and experience, combined with an objective viewpoint – as an independent energy services provider we are not restricted by any ties and this helps us to get the best energy and cost savings for clients. We understand the risks and opportunities, have the capacity to support savings assurances, and where necessary help to secure the funding for our recommendations.”

Ameresco has worked on a wide range of multi-million dollar public sector projects within the US, with clients including the Federal Government, municipalities, schools and public housing authorities. The company is now looking to use its wealth of experience and expertise to support organisations in the UK.

MacIntosh said: “The public sector is under increasing pressure to cut spending, while also meeting specific carbon targets. There are realistic and measurable ways to achieve this and EPCs provide a secure, cash positive solution to improve energy efficiency.

“For many organisations such as NHS trusts and local authorities, a lack of funding has meant that energy equipment has not been fully maintained. EPCs will help relieve the backlog maintenance issues, unlocking funds to replace or update facilities and significantly enhance energy efficiency.

“The EPC model guarantees an amount of energy savings over a specified period of time. Therefore organisations achieve a cash positive benefit from year one, and once the contract is fully-paid they enjoy the full savings for the lifespan of the technology.”

• The Re:Fit framework works with a wide combination of bodies including local authorities, health and education services across England and Wales.

• The CEF was launched in 2011 to fund and facilitate energy upgrades for the NHS and wider public sector.

• ScNDEE is a new framework particularly aimed at local authorities and universities across Scotland.

• The YPO framework gives authorities in England and Wales access to a range of services, including energy related. Unlike the others, the framework is not based around EPCs, but has been created to give organisations such as hospitals and leisure centres fast and efficient access to quality Combined Heat and Power (CHP) services.