Gardner, Kinzinger lead effort to improve federal infrastructure with public-private partnerships

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) recently led bipartisan, bicameral calls for the Trump administration to use innovative public-private contracting vehicles that support energy savings for the federal government.

Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) and Utility Energy Savings Contracts (UESCs) are public-private partnerships that enable the federal government to leverage private-sector investments to improve and modernize federal infrastructure, energy efficiency and water services through financing options.

Once an ESPC is identified by the federal government and an agreement is formed, the project is financed and executed by private entities and paid for through future energy savings.

“ESPCs have accounted for at least $12 billion of privately-financed improvements to federal buildings over the past 20 years,” Gardner and Kinzinger wrote in an April 3 letter to President Donald Trump.

“ESPCs and UESCs reduce the amount of taxpayer dollars spent on energy and water, allowing the federal government to upgrade facilities and meet its resource needs without impact on the federal Treasury,” the letter said.

ESPCs and UESCs are authorized by law, but they have been initiated almost entirely by the executive branch and agency leadership.

“President Bush undertook tracking mechanisms and raised encouragement to a secretarial activity at the Department of Energy, led by Energy Secretary (Samuel) Bodman. President Obama committed to $4 billion in private sector investment through ESPCs and UESCs over five years, which was widely encouraged on Capitol Hill from a bipartisan group of 179 members,” the letter noted.

The lawmakers urged the president to continue support for public-private contracting to realize the benefits of energy cost savings, increased government facility resiliency and security, and elimination of needed federal investments in infrastructure improvements.

The bipartisan letter was also signed by U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT).