The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) and the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) have developed a contract model, BOMA Energy Performance Contracting (BEPC), to help property owners and operators simplify the process of making energy-efficient retrofits to existing buildings. The model provides industry vetted contracts and request for proposal templates that can be easily modified to assist owners of existing buildings who want to pay for expensive energy retrofits through energy savings.

BOMA and CCI partnered with a number of energy services companies (ESCOs), including Johnson Controls, Trane, Honeywell and Siemens to execute the new model. The ESCO provides a proposal to a building owner for improvements, along with the cost, which is guaranteed. “If the ESCO doesn’t get the savings, they have to write the check for the difference,” says Brenna Walraven, managing director of national property management for USAA Real Estate Co., based in San Antonio, Texas. Walraven is one of the chief architects of the BEPC model and recently was chair of BOMA International.

According to Walraven, owners have three options for financing the retrofits, including self-financing; financing through the ESCO; or through a CCI funding source such as Hannon Armstrong, a financial services provider. Interest rates for such loans, she says, are typically less than 9%, somewhat lower than financing with a credit card. Once the improvements are completed, owners can reap the guaranteed savings.

The BEPC contract model also eliminates the need for owners to become energy experts and it whittles the process length from 18-24 months to less than a year, according to BOMA.

The BEPC and supporting documents include a variety of information, such as advice on best practices in project development and execution, a series of model documents that can be used to streamline the project development process and additional resources that can be accessed to help with executing an energy efficiency project. The BEPC and supporting documents are available at www.boma.org.