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ESCO is short for Energy Service Company. An ESCO is a professional business providing designs and implementation of energy savings projects (also called energy conservation measures) that allow building owners to perform projects to upgrade their building assets. The ESCO performs an in-depth analysis of the property, designs an energy efficient solution, installs the required elements, and maintains the system to ensure energy savings during the contract period.
An ESCO’s services include:
- developing, designing, and (sometimes) financing energy efficiency projects;
- installing and maintaining the energy efficient equipment involved;
- measuring, monitoring, and verifying the project’s energy savings; and
- assuming the risk that the project will save the amount of energy guaranteed4.
These services are bundled into the project’s cost and are repaid through the economic savings generated. Soft costs such as maintenance and training can also be included in performance contracts if they meet the time requirements for the return on the initial investments. ESCO projects are generally comprehensive, and thus provide an excellent match to just sustainability-based goals.
OVESCo was set up in 2007 by four people who meet through the Transition Town Lewes Energy Group. OVESCo has run the Lewes District Council renewables grant scheme since September 2007 and helped over one hundred homes install solar thermal panels, wood burning stoves, GSHP's, biomass boilers and PV panels. The company is working to convert to an Industrial and Provident Society so that the Lewes District Community can invest in renewable power generation projects. OVESCo's web site can be found at OVESCo
- Joshua M. Pearce and Laura L. Miller,“Energy Service Companies as a Component of a Comprehensive University Sustainability Strategy”, International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 7(1), pp. 16-33, 2006. open access