No capital required: the energy savings performance contract option
The solution was to fund the upgrades through an energy savings performance contract (ESPC). Under the contract, the city's strategic and technical partner, Johnson Controls, guaranteed that a series of improvements would generate enough energy and operational savings to pay for the project over time.
"It was a big surprise," said Evansville Water and Sewer Utility Director Allen Mounts. "It's sort of like‚ is this for real? Does this really work?"
Skepticism turned to belief as the details of the project and its guarantees became clear.
The comprehensive plan
The initiatives carry a combined price tag of $39 million, a cost offset by guaranteed energy and operational savings of $3.1 million a year—for a total payback of just 20 years.
As a result of the improvements, Evansville, the third largest city in Indiana, is now well positioned for future growth - and future gains. Discussions are already underway to capture even greater savings at the wastewater treatment plant.