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For Organizations and Social Entrepreneurs

Core Competencies

Impact and economics require technical, business, and mission competencies.

Starting and sustaining a PPESCO require many competencies, not all of which a single organization would be expected to possess. The most important competency is credibility in the marketplace and an exemplary track record in undertaking and successfully completing energy savings projects.

New PPESCOs must be clear about what can be done well internally, and what should be assigned to subcontractors. PPESCO projects require energy consultants and engineers, project managers, lawyers, and accountants, and installation specialists for all building improvements. A PPESCO must be able to manage these service providers, if they do not possess the competency and interest to carry out services such as energy audits, project finance, or general contracting.

A prospective PPESCO should evaluate the experience, expertise, and skills its organization brings to this work, to identify gaps that can be filled with partners and / or subcontractors. Required competencies can be categorized as follows:

  • Market knowledge
    • Local market opportunities and challenges
    • Locally available incentive and other project funding resources
    • Potential local partners
    • Project opportunities
    • Broad market drivers: federal, state
    • Sector trends and expertise
    • Regulatory environment
  • Account management
    • Client needs
    • Knowledge of building technologies
    • Trust and position for long-term relationship
    • Effective ongiong training and education for owners, operators, and occupants
    • Analytics and insight on historic, current, and projected energy performance
  • Engineering
    • Energy and water conservation technologies
    • Building systems
    • On-site renewables
    • Audits and energy modeling analyses
    • Measurement and verification
    • Post-construction training and education
    • Monitoring for optimal energy performance
  • Construction management
    • General contracting
    • Subcontractor management
    • Regulatory parameters
    • Building commissioning
  • Contracts
    • Local jurisdiction policies and regulatory guidelines
    • Project pricing and negotiation
    • Offering terms and conditions
    • Performance guarantees
    • Performance bonds and insurance
    • Industry standards
    • Sample: click to download sample of an energy performance contract
  • Project finance
    • Customer qualification
    • Savings modeling
      • Sample: click to download sample savings modeling tool
    • Project fee structure
    • Performance guarantees
    • Utility and other incentives
    • Tax benefits
  • Capital coordination
    • Identification of prospective nonprofit, and both public and private sector, capital and other funding sources
    • Negotiating financing terms