November 5

The Role of ESCO’s in Providing Clean Energy

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You may not have heard of ESCOs (Energy Service Company), but their services can benefit your small business finances and operations, along with the environment. As we move toward more clean, efficient energy in New Brunswick, an ESCO can help your business in several ways.

What is an ESCO?

An ESCO or Energy Service Company develops and installs energy efficiency projects. Energy efficiency projects can benefit either government or privately-owned facilities. While some ESCO projects have involved extensive facilities like the retrofit of Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, ESCOs can retrofit and reduce energy costs for any size of building or facility, including small businesses. ESCOs specialize in improving energy efficiency. They act as project managers for energy retrofitting or efficiency projects. They'll provide the following services:

  • Develop energy efficiency projects
  • Design the projects
  • Arrange to finance
  • Install and maintain energy-efficient equipment

After projects are complete, ESCOs will continue to measure project impact. They'll monitor equipment and efficiency. The ESCO will verify that the project is successfully providing energy savings. Finally, ESCOs assume the risk for energy savings guaranteed by the projects. According to the Energy Services Association (ESAC), Canadian organizations undertake about $450 million in ESCO-led projects each year. Together, the projects save about $45 million in energy costs. They also save millions of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. ESCO projects support about 4,000 Canadian jobs, and the cost savings support an additional 5,000 indirect jobs, according to ESAC.

What Challenges do Small Businesses Face When Transitioning to Renewable Energy?

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According to a recent McGill University study, New Brunswick has twice as much potential for renewable energy than the province currently needs. Some of the possibilities are in wind power, while others can be obtained from solar power. Renewable energy is available for use in New Brunswick. What's lacking is time and expertise. How many small business owners have the knowledge, time, and information to "DIY" their own energy efficiency project?

Energy efficiency projects are specialized. They're more complicated than changing a single fluorescent bulb for an LED bulb. When properly developed and managed, energy efficiency projects can net up to 20 percent savings over previous systems. ESCOs are experienced in designing projects to achieve desired financial savings and environmental benefits. They are familiar with products that will be the right choice for your small business energy savings. They are experienced in working with subcontractors and administering energy retrofit projects. They also know how to create a solid financial plan that will return financial savings for your business.

What Benefits Can Renewable Energy Have for Small Businesses?

Lower power bills are one of the main benefits of using energy-efficient equipment. Renewable energy also helps you to invest in New Brunswick's future and the community. Investing in renewable energy will also show your business partners and community members that you care about the environment. You can save money on your power bills and help to transition the province away from fossil fuels toward clean, renewable energy.
If you are a small business owner and an accredited investor in New Brunswick, you can invest in other clean energy retrofit projects in addition to retrofitting your building.

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Energy retrofitting projects are investments in the community and your small business. When you invest local, you have the opportunity to reap profits for your business and strengthen the community. You can also help to create jobs in the community. More jobs mean more potential business and a stronger economy.

The clean energy sector offers exciting opportunities for financial and community benefits. The industry is expected to grow. You can reduce our local dependency on fossil fuels while improving your economic outlook.

Financial Benefits of Working With an ESCO

Naveco Power's retrofit of 82 Westmoreland Street indicates how a business or organization can benefit from a renewable energy retrofit. The project is expected to save 2,325 gigajoules of energy (cutting energy use in half). It will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 175 tonnes. This equals 37 cars taken off the road.

If you own a building, half of the cost you usually spend on power can now install energy-efficient equipment. Small businesses can reap the following benefits from a renewable energy project:

  • Direct energy cost savings
  • Reduced tax bill
  • Potential investment returns paid from energy cost savings
  • Clean energy and improved environment

You can invest in New Brunswick's energy future while receiving lower energy bills. In as little as six months, an energy efficiency project for your business can begin to show financial benefits. Over time, you'll be joining with others in New Brunswick/Fredericton. Doing an energy efficiency project with an ESCO like Naveco Power will allow you to invest locally: in your own business as well as the community.

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​Growing With Naveco Power

Naveco Power is currently engaged in an energy efficiency retrofit project of 82 Westmorland (located on the corner of Westmoreland and Queen Street in Fredericton). The building is home to The Federal Court of Canada, The Maritimes' Higher Education Commission, and Service New Brunswick -- as well as Naveco Power. This project was an investment opportunity where all funds stayed right here in the province.

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​Naveco is also developing wind and solar projects in New Brunswick. You can grow with Naveco Power through investing in an energy retrofit project, engaging in an energy retrofit, or investing in solar or wind power. Naveco Power offers investment opportunities in New Brunswick that don't just return money to investors. They return energy savings and improve the environment in the community, as well. Combine this with job growth and clean energy development and working with an ESCO is a win for everyone involved.

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