In 2010, K-12 school districts have the option to apply for either or both OSPI and Department of Commerce grants. Only one state grant per project may be awarded. OSPI applications are for projects using the energy performance contracting method, which involves using an Energy Services Company (ESCO). The Commerce program is also for projects using an ESCO, but also allows for a non-ESCO process.
One source of information is the Department of General Administration’s (GA’s)
“Energy Saving Performance Contracting” program and webpage. The site includes
general information about energy performance contracting (and links to other
sources), and information about GA’s program. hhttp://ga.wa.gov/EAS/epc/espc.htm
The first step of the energy performance contracting method is to identify
cost-effectiveness criteria: what are the conditions under which the district
will proceed with a project (can include payback, energy savings, financing,
etc). A walk-though or “preliminary audit” is conducted. If it looks like there
may be projects that meet the cost-effectiveness criteria, an “Investment Grade
Audit” (IGA) is conducted.
The investment-grade energy audit is conducted by the selected ESCO to analyze all cost-effective
energy efficiency measures (EEMs) for systems such as lighting, HVAC equipment,
building envelope, steam, water using systems, building controls, energy
generation and distribution. The audit includes an evaluation of the economic
performance and investment value of the EEMs.
A level of detail found in the IGA is necessary in order to complete the
application. OSPI is offering grants for Investment Grade Audits. The
application deadline for the Investment Grade Audit grants is July 16, 2010.
Yes, you may apply this year for a new project.
There is no upper limit; however it is expected that the OSPI request will not
exceed $1 million. Higher grant request will be considered if appropriate.
No. A project may only receive grant funding from one grant funder or the other.
However, a school district may receive one grant from OSPI for Project A and a
second grant from Commerce for Project B. Projects A and B must be distinctly
If an applicant is going to do multiple components (lighting, windows,
insulation, HVAC) in a building at the same time with the same contract, it’s
considered one project. If the components are going to be done over time with
different contracts, they are considered separate projects. If an applicant
wants to do only specific things such as lighting or controls in several
buildings at the same time and have one contract to perform the work, that is
consider one project
If the project has an energy performance construction contract executed before June 1, 2010,
the project is not eligible. Projects with construction contracts on or after
June 1, 2010 are eligible.
There is an application deadline every month between June and November,
alternating between OSPI and Commerce (COM).
The deadlines are:
June 25 (OSPI); July 26 (COM); August 27 (OSPI); September 20 (COM); October 22
(OSPI), and November 14 (COM).
If funds remain, a March 4, 2011 (OSPI) and a March 11 (COM) round may be held.
Having multiple rounds helps meet the legislative intent for these grants to
stimulate Washington’s economy through job creation, and give districts multiple
opportunities to apply.
For OSPI grants, the same dedicated team from last year which was made up of
school district staff from facilities, capital, and administrative programs,
along with a representative of a non-profit trade association of the energy
efficiency industry. OSPI staff manages the process but do not score the
OSPI’s goal is to have the applications scored and awardees notified about one
week after the application deadline. Follow-up materials may be requested from
the applicant prior to final award. For instance, if the applicant indicated
that the Investment Grade Audit and/or the Energy Services Proposal were already
completed, they will be requested to submit those to OSPI.
OSPI plans on having three grant rounds, with a possible fourth. To ensure
funding is available in subsequent rounds, OSPI may award only up to 85% of the
applicants in the first two rounds.
||Public K-12 only
||- Public K-12
- Public Higher Education
- 5% set aside districts w/1000 or less FTE
||Suggest $1 M; no limit
||Suggest $5 M; no limit
||Performance based contracting (ESCO)
||Performance based contracting (ESCO)
Self-performing alternative (Non-ESCO)
|USE OF GA Program
||Required for Community Colleges
Optional for others
|TYPES OF GRANTS
||Investment Grade Audit Grant and
Each grant has a separate application.
|Investment Grade Audit and
Both grants use the same application.
||July 16, 2010
||Same as project dates
| Round 1
||June 25, 2010
||July 26, 2010
| Round 2
||August 27, 2010
||September 20, 2010
| Round 3
||October 22, 2010
||November 15, 2010
| Round 4
|March 4, 2011
||March 22, 2011
Yes, for the OSPI grant fund program you must use energy performance
contracting. There are no waivers.
No, school districts do not have to work through the Department of General
Administration’s (GA) program. It is an option for school districts to use their
services. Many districts that have not done performance contracting before use
GA. Community Colleges are required to use the GA program; it is
optional for all others.
A district may contract directly with and ESCO by issuing an RFQ and selecting
an ESCO. Please see the guidelines below or Chapter
OSPI’s grant program requires the use of an ESCO. If a district doesn’t want to
use an ESCO, they cannot apply for the OSPI program. The district may apply to
the Commerce program in the “self-managed” non-ESCO process. (As of June 30,
2010, GA guidelines for Energy Saving Performance Contracting will be available
http://www.ga.wa.gov/eas/epc/espc.htm. The law for Energy Savings Performance
Contracting is found in Chapter 39.35C RCW. The RCWs for project that do not use
energy savings performance contracting are found in Chapters 39.80 and 39.04.)
A program goal is that for every one dollar of state grant funds, the district
contributes three “non-state” dollars. It does not mean that the application
must include that leverage ratio, but applicants will be scored for
prioritization on the leverage ratio, with the higher the leverage the better
Non-state funds include any funding from local sources, private sources, debt
financing (local or state), federal funds, and utility incentives.
The OSPI grant does not require the use of innovative measures and this will not
be a factor in prioritizing projects, even though the question is asked on the
OSPI application. Depending on level of competition, OSPI may consider
innovation as a “bonus point”.
Innovations may be equipment, techniques or practices that are “imported”
from other building types where they are more common and have a demonstrated
track record of savings and longevity, but haven’t typically been used in
schools. Innovation sometimes captures more energy savings, but at a lower cost
per unit or provides other tangible or intangible benefits when compared to
conventional energy efficiency measures.
Use the “Gas” field and have the ESCO convert the Steam savings to mmBTUs saved.
Then make a note in the field so reviewers can see the change. If there is both
gas and steam, put the information on steam in the project description
Yes. If the project involves disturbance of painted surfaces in a building
constructed prior to 1979 and serves children under six years old, a certified person
must direct the activity to minimize potential exposure.
Benchmarking your facilities is often the first step in measuring and monitoring
the building’s utility use, and is an excellent tool to spot problems and track
improvements. Depending on the level of competition in the applications, the
reviews have the option of considering this as a bonus point.