Jim Fonger, Vice President Asset Solutions Strategy + Outreach, Ameresco

jfonger@ameresco.com

Large energy consumers across the commercial and industrial (C&I) and municipal, academic, school and hospital (MASH) customer segments are making sustainability a priority because of stakeholder pressure and growing investor requirements to demonstrate alignment with Paris Agreement goals.  Key stakeholders are putting pressure on organizations to report environment impact awareness and commit to aggressive carbon reduction targets.  Companies are setting ambitious carbon targets and looking for partners to help meet these goals by providing technology expertise, advisory services, and no-CAPEX low-cost financing.  This is a perfect opportunity for local distribution companies (LDCs) and capable private sector partners to step in to fill this void with a self-financed, decarbonization service.  

Energy as a Service (EaaS) options meet customers’ sustainability and deferred maintenance needs by transferring risk, simplifying operations, and ensuring a comprehensive and flexible technology solution.  According to Guidehouse Insights, the EaaS market is predicted to grow from $2.7 billion (2021) to $27.2 billion (2029) as a result.  Utilizing OPEX-based payments rather than CAPEX or debt enables customers to focus on the core elements of business—especially important for a meaningful pandemic recovery.  LDCs (and their affiliates) can offer their large customers a one-stop shop experience that provides a range of energy efficiency, electrification, and renewable energy services enabling by a combination of EaaS financing, Canadian Infrastructure Bank (CIB) financing, and grant funding from Natural Resource Canada’s Smart Renewable Energy and Grid Modernization Initiative

Projects such as the John Paul II Secondary School Microgrid in London, have demonstrated how EaaS can make the challenging possible and simultaneously support the grid by providing several ancillary functions including frequency and voltage support, congestion management, and peak shaving.  As the market leader in this space (Guidehouse Insights 1Q 2021 EaaS Leaderboard report), Ameresco sees huge potential and is keenly seeking interested LDCs to join us in decarbonizing Ontario.