Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Energy partner to drive down federal energy costs

Published March 9, 2015

USACE and FEMP logosThe U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) developed a partnership to help drive down the federal government’s energy costs through the government-wide adoption of performance contracting processes.

“As the nation’s largest energy consumer, the federal government has a tremendous opportunity and clear responsibility to lead by example,” according to a memorandum of understanding the two agencies signed at the end of October 2014 to increase efficiencies and leverage each other’s strengths and experience. “Accelerating the use of performance contracting across government agencies will enable agencies to increase their use of renewable energy supplies, reduce energy demand, improve operational effectiveness, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in support of U.S. climate change initiatives.”

Both agencies have been executing energy savings performance contract (ESPC) and utility energy service contract (UESC) projects for several years. FEMP has had programmatic responsibility for execution of the larger federal program, and USACE—through its Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville—supports the Army and other Department of Defense agencies with the tools to help them achieve federal energy goals and mandates.

Though a great deal of collaboration already exists, a more coordinated effort will capitalize on the existing momentum and more effectively posture the federal government to achieve the President’s Performance Contracting Challenge goal of a government-wide total investment of $4 billion in performance-based contracts through 2016.

A primary goal of the partnership is to enable civilian federal agencies to meet or exceed their energy goals by taking advantage of the DOE ESPC acquisition vehicle while leveraging Huntsville Center’s expertise to successfully execute the project through its life-cycle. Department of Defense agencies will continue to work directly with Huntsville Center using its ESPC acquisition vehicle and requested project management support services.

The partnership covers, but is not limited to, efforts related to energy and water efficiency and renewable energy. Key partnership activities include:

  • Facilitating better education, training, and knowledge sharing across the federal government—specifically ESPC and UESC best practices;
  • Continuously exploring opportunities to increase uniformity of contract terms and conditions, as well as processes, to create a more efficient business environment and improve cost-effectiveness of the program;
  • Exploring opportunities to improve measurement and verification activities;
  • Establishing a framework for partnership and collaboration; and 
  • Providing federal agencies with turn-key contracting and project management support for ESPC and UESC contracts, thereby increasing agency project throughput.

Public Affairs Office

Release no. 15-033