ESCO Feasibility Study
Thanks to Brown Environmental Studies Professor Dawn King, her teaching assistant Kaori Nagase, and a class of talented students, RI IPL is undertaking a feasibility study to consider the development of an ESCO (Energy Services Company) for Houses of Worship in Rhode Island. ESCO’s are often used as a means to finance energy retrofits for property owners. The ESCO guarantees certain energy savings to the client and performs the work necessary to improve the energy efficiency of the client’s property. The work could include replacing the existing lighting with LED lighting, improving the insulation and heat envelope of the property or even installing solar panels or geothermal heating and cooling systems. The ESCO is paid for its work and installed equipment, over time, from the reduction in the property’s energy bills.
The issues we will examine include:
- What is the potential market demand among Rhode Island Houses of Worship?
- What are the constraints to adoption?
- What, if any, resources are available to support implementation?
- Are there any legal or regulatory issues to consider in Rhode Island in respect of establishing an ESCO?
- How do the needs of ESCO’s align with RI’s recently enacted PACE legislation?
- Could a regional ESCO be established across state lines?
- Based on the demand information gathered, can we forecast utilization?
- Can we take an estimate for utilization and with some confidence, develop a capital budget?
The first stage of the study, to be conducted this fall semester, is to assess energy consumption by Rhode Island Houses of Worship. Please support this research by completing a survey we will be circulating later in the month. We hope the students will have come away with valuable research experience. Together, we will produce the first-ever statewide survey of House of Worship energy consumption which could inform other program work.