The TOP 5 questions

colleges ask us about ESAs:

We have a lot of projects on campus competing for capital. How might an ESA help?

A Metrus ESA enables colleges to complete larger, more impactful efficiency projects (with longer paybacks) that might not otherwise receive funding. The ESA frees up capital for other pressing projects on campus. And the ESA does not adversely impact a college’s future borrowing capacity or interfere with its existing bonds or loan agreements. This means a college doesn’t have to delay making progress toward its sustainability targets or upgrading its built environment. 

We recently completed a solar project on campus. Is an ESA similar to a solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)?

Yes. Similar to a PPA, the ESA allows colleges to achieve a wide range of efficiency improvements without upfront capital investment. ESA payments are performance-based and reflect actual savings. Service charges under an ESA (e.g., $ per kWh saved) are set at a level below a college’s current utility rate.

What types of efficiency upgrades are eligible for an ESA?

An ESA can accommodate any building efficiency upgrade that generates savings for a college, from the installation of new LED lighting and controls to the replacement of a boiler or chiller. The ESA is an open platform, which means it places no restrictions on the type of equipment or technology included in an efficiency upgrade. Metrus’ current portfolio of ESA projects includes over 30 different types of efficiency improvements. 

How are savings measured?

Savings calculations are based on three key factors: (1) pre-project measurements of the efficiency of existing equipment; (2) post-project measurements of the efficiency of newly installed equipment; and, (3) fixed baseline parameters such as facility operating hours and degree days. Savings measurements occur throughout the ESA term to calculate the units of avoided energy ("negawatts") and water use resulting from the project. Measurements are isolated to the equipment financed under an ESA so as not to overlap with other ongoing on-campus sustainability initiatives.