Energy Saving Performance Contracting

Overview of Services

The Department of Enterprise Services (DES) has designed a program specifically for state agencies, colleges and universities, cities and towns, counties, school districts, port districts, libraries, hospitals, health districts and more.  Since it's inception in 1984, the Energy Program has managed statewide projects that have saved more than 400 million kilowatt-hours of electricity. This is enough electricity savings to power 30 average homes a year in Washington State.

What is Energy Saving Performance Contracting (ESPC)?

Energy Saving Performance Contracting is:

  • The most cost-effective process for completing building energy upgrades
  • A means to use utility savings to pay all project costs
  • A partnership of the owner, the ESCO (energy service company) and the DES Energy Program
  • Energy Savings Performance Contracting Guidelines
  • How Energy Saving Performance Contracting works:
  • You select of DES’s pre-qualified ESCO’s to complete an energy audit of your facility
  • The ESCO designs, installs, commissions, and finances the projects you select
  • The ESCO guarantees both the maximum project cost and the projected energy savings
  • DES energy engineers provide long-term monitoring of project savings

Typical projects include:

  • Energy management systems
  • Interior and exterior lighting
  • Boiler replacement and repair of steam distribution systems
  • High-efficiency HVAC systems
  • LED traffic systems, wastewater treatment plant pumps and motors, and swimming pool systems


  • Guaranteed Project Cost
  • Guaranteed Savings
  • Guaranteed Equipment Performance

Advantages of ESPC

  • Single point of accountability – the ESCO
  • No requirement to use the lowest bid
  • Owner participates in equipment and subcontractor selection
  • Low interest financing available through the Washington State Treasurer
  • Verification of annual energy savings through a monitoring program

How to obtain ESPC services

  • Local governments, school districts and state agencies (referred to as Client Agencies) enter into an Interagency Agreement (IAA) with DES in order to participate in the program and work with one of the pre-qualified ESCOs.
  • The IAA (drafted pursuant to Chapter 39.34 RCW) allows the DES Energy Program to provide overall contracting and project management services to the Client Agency.
  • Compensation for DES’s Energy Program services is based on a pre-determined fee schedule that sets project management compensation levels based on the total project value.
  • If the ESCO fails to develop a project that meets the Client Agencies established cost-effectiveness criteria, then there is no cost to the Client Agency.
  • Detailed Program Process Description
  • Contact us by e-mail at: or 360-407-9372

How can the DES Energy Program help you manage your energy costs?

  • DES Energy Program provides the experience and expertise for quality assurance, project negotiation, overall project management, and monitoring and verification procedures.
  • Through DES's Energy Program, the ESCO's will perform free preliminary audits to determine potential energy efficiency projects.

Advantages of Washington’s ESPC DES Energy Program

  • Performance contracting is authorized under Chapters 39.35A&C RCW
  • DES maintains a list of pre-qualified ESCO’s
  • DES will assign an experienced energy engineer to help manage your project
  • You select the energy service company you wish to work with
  • Owner participates in equipment and subcontractor selection
  • DES can help with information on low-interest state treasurer financing
  • Verification of savings reports are provided by the ESCO and reviewed by DES

DES Energy Service Company (ESCO) Selection List

Note: Access to DES ESCO's i​s provided by the Energy Program Manager. See Contact Information above.

Washington’s ESPC RFQ and Contacts

Financing your project

Projects can be financed using:

The steps you need to take for your loan:

Conservation ideas

Energy conservation

Conservation ideas to help building operators and occupants conserve energy:

Visit the Energy Hogs website and go to Hog Buster training camp. You will learn how to conserve energy at home and the office. Complete all five games to become an official Hog Buster:

Water conservation

Water conservation plays a vital role in maintaining an adequate supply of water for Northwest homes and businesses. For water conservation information, check these links:

Greenhouse gas reduction

The governors of Washington, Oregon, and California have joined in a West Coast Governors’ Initiative to address the economic and environmental consequences of global warming. To find out more about how the earth’s atmosphere naturally traps “greenhouse” gases such as water vapor, carbon dioxide and methane, use the links provided below.

Renewable energy

What is renewable energy?

Solar, micro-hydropower, wind power, geothermal and tidal power generation are examples of renewable energy. To find out more about renewable energy, use the links provided below.