In 1995, the Utah Office of Energy Services hosted a roundtable discussion on performance contracting and the need for collaboration between end-users and ESCOs in the state. The state, end-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. The roundtable discussion lead the partners to form the Utah Coalition.

Over time the Utah Coalition was enlisted to help the Colorado Governor's Office of Energy Management and Conservation to establish a similar group in Colorado.

The Utah Coalition also 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 and 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.

The Western Regional Coalition, comprised of five state energy offices and an 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 energy savings performance contracting.

In 1999, growing interest from states outside the western region prompted the WRC to expand to become a national organization. During 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 (ESC).

Since that time the ESC has played an important role in supporting and facilitating the development and implementation of energy savings performance contracting programs in states throughout the country.

Today, the ESC has a network of 27 active state chapters located throughout the country. 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 in 2001. The main mission of state chapters is to provide statewide on-the-ground education on performance contracting.

As of September 13. 2020, the ESC had more than 238 members representing all 50 states.