Energy Savings Performance Contracting

The Energy Program at Enterprise Services is a national leader in developing and managing energy savings performance contracts that help reduce energy and operation costs in public facilities.

Under state law, the DES Energy Savings Performance Contracting program is designed specifically for existing public buildings in Washington. The program offers state agencies and local government entities:

  • The most cost-effective process for completing building energy upgrades
  • A means to use utility savings to pay off set project costs
  • A partnership involving the customer agency, a private Energy Service Company and the DES Energy Program
  • Contracting guidelines

How the program works

State agencies and local government entities first enter into an interagency agreement with DES, which gives the Energy Program the legal authority to provide contracting and project management services – including providing a list of DES pre-qualified Energy Service Companies.

Once a customer agency selects an Energy Service Company, DES and the company will complete a free preliminary energy audit of the customer’s building or facility to determine potential energy efficiency projects.

Roles and responsibilities

The Energy Service Company is responsible for:

  • Identifying, designing, installing, and commissioning the project
  • Providing financing options
  • Identifying utility and grant opportunities
  • Guaranteeing equipment performance
  • Guaranteeing maximum project costs
  • Guaranteeing energy savings
  • Measuring and verifying energy savings

Should an Energy Service Company fail to develop a project that meets a customer agency’s cost-effectiveness criteria, then there is no cost to the customer agency.

The DES Energy Program is responsible for:

  • Overall contracting and project management services by an experienced DES energy engineer.
  • Providing quality assurance.
  • Negotiating the project scope, costs, terms, and equipment selections.
  • Providing yearly reviews of the Energy Service Company’s measurement and verification reports for accuracy.

This fact sheet provides more details about the program process.

Types of projects

The program can apply to a wide range of projects. Examples include:

  • Facility energy management systems
  • Interior and exterior lighting
  • High-efficiency heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems
  • Wastewater treatment plant pumps and motors
  • LED traffic light systems
  • Boiler replacement and steam distribution system repair
  • Swimming pool systems
  • Other efficiency projects


The Energy Savings Performance Contracting program offers customer agencies a wide range of advantages including:

  • Low interest financing through the Washington State Treasurer
  • A single point of accountability – the Energy Service Company
  • No requirement to use the lowest bid
  • An experienced DES energy engineer to help manage your project
  • A list of pre-qualified Energy Service Companies from which to choose
  • Customer’s choice of an energy service company to work with
  • Customer choice in selection of subcontractors and equipment
  • Verification of annual energy savings through a monitoring program


Projects can be financed using: