What are ESCOs? Benefits of employing ESCOs
Energy service companies, or ESCOs, are enterprises that design products and energy management solutions that reduce electricity consumption and maintenance costs. There are lots of ESCOs in the market offering a wide variety of solutions for both domestic and commercial facilities.
An overview ESCOs
ESCOs usually consist of project managers and facility planners that analyze a client's energy needs, their infrastructural capabilities, and their limitations. After understanding the client's concerns, ESCO executives can then develop plans and offer energy saving solutions. ESCOs take into consideration the performance goals and efficiencies and offer solutions that do not compromise on such factors.
This is what separates ESCOs from most other energy saving services. Their approach to saving energy is linked to the performance of the organization. The benefits of using their products and services are directly reflected regarding compensation. The newer ESCOs that are coming in the market also offer a range of innovative payment solutions such as off-balance sheet vehicles. The savings that the customer generates from using their services are used to pay the ESCO. Savings will always exceed the fee in these plans.
Things to consider before selecting an ESCO
When a company is planning for an energy saving project, the management may choose to put up the project for bidding by various ESCOs. As a part of the process, an RFQ (request for qualification) is created which consists of the portfolios of all the interested ESCOs. The portfolio contains information about their products and services, their experience in the field, payment plans, testimonials and other records.
The company can then demand an RFP (request for proposal) from the shortlisted ESCOs. The RFP contains all the necessary project details such as its scope, timeline of implementation, equipment and resource requirement and exact cost-saving among others. After the RFP has been processed, the time comes to make a final decision and sign the contract.
How ESCOs help customers
A reliable and good quality ESCO is there with a customer right from the conception of the project to the time when cost savings are generated. They help the customer through each step of the energy saving process. Some of their key roles are mentioned below.
- Identifying potential sources of energy saving- The trained professionals from selected ESCO conducts an audit of the facilities and equipment that are owned by the customer. He then identifies possible sources of energy wastage and opportunities for energy consumption.
- Engineer energy-saving designs and solutions- After understanding the customer’s needs and capabilities, ESCO executives then develop products and solutions such as better equipment management techniques, alternate sources of energy, energy saving products and smart practices among others. The solutions designed are tailored according to the specific needs of the customer.
- Provide staff training- After the successful deployment of the energy saving project, the ESCO will go one step further and train your staff according to the changes brought about in the facility. Proper guidance is provided regarding the best use of the equipment and other energy-saving practices.