History of the ESC
In 1995, Mike Glenn of the Utah Office of Energy Services hosted a roundtable
discussion on performance contracting and the need for collaboration between
users and ESCOs in the state. The state, users, and ESCOs all recognized
the value of speaking together in a unified voice to promote performance
contracting and to overcome barriers to using performance contracting.
With Glenn's encouragement, the partners formed the Utah Coalition. Bret
Hunter of CMS Viron (formerly Viron Energy Services) became the group's
first president and championed the idea of a public-private partnership.
The new Utah Coalition quickly recognized the value of the organization,
finding an open door to the Utah Governor's Office. They found that the
Chief of Staff was anxious to meet with an industry group rather than
an individual company.
Meanwhile in Colorado, Linda Smith of the Governor's Office of Energy
Management and Conservation asked Utah for help to establish a similar
group in Colorado. Smith viewed it as a vehicle for the ESCO industry
to take over the energy office's involvement in marketing performance
contracting. Glenn and Hunter suggested that the Utah Coalition of Energy
Service Companies become a regional group - a public/private partnership
of state energy offices and energy service companies serving the West.
Glenn and Smith solicited interest from other state energy offices. Soon,
representatives from Wyoming, North Dakota, and Montana joined the group.
The U.S. DOE solidified the partnership of five Western states by funding
this multi-state partnership through its Rebuild America program. The
new coalition of states adopted the name Western Regional Coalition (WRC).
With a new name a broader purpose, the membership of the Western Regional
Coalition grew to include representatives of finance companies, building
owners, engineering firms, federal government organizations, contractors,
product companies, and many others.
Mark Bailey, of the U. S. Department of Energy's Rebuild America Program,
recognized the value of a state-level public/private partnership to expand
awareness of performance contracting as way to achieve energy efficiency.
The Rebuild America Financial Services group offered performance contracting
workshops in the various states. Coupled with the WRC's marketing materials
and extensive ESCO network, Rebuild America's support enabled state energy
offices to offer performance contracting information and assistance to
schools, hospitals and others throughout their states. Michael Arny of
Leonardo Academy provided services to the Rebuild America Financial Services
program through Oak Ridge National Laboratory under the direction of Pat
Hughes and later under Ron Shelton. In this role, Michael Arny helped
the WEC members in promoting WRC's growth and in expanding more WRC services
to a broader audience.
The Western Regional Coalition, the group of state energy offices and
the expanding group of ESCOs met quarterly to identify common themes.
The meetings became working meetings to produce joint marketing materials
on performance contracting, discuss marketing issues, develop uniform
procurement and contract documents for use in all states, and to train
state energy offices about the ESCO industry.
Growing interest from states outside the western region, prompted the
WRC in the Fall of 1999 to expand to become a national organization. Under
the expansion, the group formalized the organization's structure as a
public private partnership, including representatives of state energy
offices, energy service companies, finance companies, building owners
and others interested in performance contracting in the membership and
on the organization's board of Directors. To reflect this new national
scope, the organization adopted a new name, the Energy Services Coalition
In the Spring of 2000, a new Board was elected reflecting the organization's
new structure. Leonardo Academy was hired to provide Executive Director
and management services for the ESC. As President of Leonardo Academy,
Michael Arny became the Executive Director of the Energy Services Coalition
with Bret Hunter of Viron as ESC President.
The U.S. Department of Energy elevated the role of ESC within the Rebuild
America Program in late 2000, establishing the ESC as a Strategic Partner.
This new role makes the ESC an important player in supporting and facilitating
the development and implementation of energy efficiency projects in Rebuild
To complement the ESC's growing membership in many states across the
country, the ESC is helping develop state chapters. These state chapters
reflect the same public/private partnership approach as the national organization.
Each is headed by two co-chairs, with representation from a state energy
office and an ESCO. ESC's first state chapter was formed in Colorado early
2001. The main mission of state chapters is to provide statewide on-the-ground
education on performance contracting.
As of July 2001, the ESC has more than 175 members in 39 states. Our
goal in the next year is to have members in all 50 states and state chapters
in at least ten states. The success of the ESC is a tribute to its founders,
its many very active members, and the vision of Rebuild America to support
this new public/private partnership to promote promoting increased energy
efficiency in buildings throughout the country. By, 2001 the original
state partners had reported $108 million in projects undertaken with $14.5
million in annual energy savings.