Philadelphia’s first Guaranteed Energy Savings Project is saving $1.4 million in annual energy costs, and resulted in buildings that are easier to operate, more comfortable for tenants, and have fewer capital needs.

The City selected NORESCO through a competitive request for proposal process to determine the feasibility of energy conservation measures (ECMs) in the City’s ‘Quadplex’ buildings: City Hall, Municipal Services Building, One Parkway, and the Criminal Justice Center. The City selected high payback energy conservation measures that produced a project with positive cash flow, strong environmental benefits, and improvements to tenant spaces. The completed project includes nine standard ECMs throughout the four buildings. This work resulted in facilities that are easier to operate, more comfortable for tenants, and have fewer immediate capital needs in addition to energy savings. Together, the Quadplex represents 12% of the City’s General Fund energy usage, and the project now saves the City $1.4 million annually in energy costs.

ECMs include: lighting improvements, lighting control systems, water conservation, steam system insulation, building control system updates, high efficiency air filters, vestibule improvements and building envelope improvements and weatherisation.

The project is now in its measurement and verification phase, and work is under way to ensure building operations continue to support expected project savings.

What is the innovation/policy/project/technology? How does it work?

Under Pennsylvania’s Guaranteed Energy Savings Act (GESA), all municipalities are enabled to enter into contracts with energy service companies (ESCOs) to develop energy efficiency projects. This is the type of contract vehicle used to implement this project. The legislation also authorises third party financing so that annual utility and operational savings can support the project repayment over a 15-year contract term, meaning an up-front budget allocation is not necessary.

What are the CO2 reduction goals/acheivements?

7,800 MTCO2e

Next Steps

Philadelphia is now launching another GESA project at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the largest energy user in the municipal portfolio. The City is also exploring using GESA to retrofit streetlights to LED, and for additional energy projects at the Prisons Complex and other sites.