In this step, the ESP will install the improvements and may provide other services as part of the project.
Cost-saving Measure (CSM) Installation
Once the EPC contract is signed, the ESP will complete the design of the retrofit work and obtain your approval to move forward with installation. Following installation, the ESP will update the counts, runtime, and other assumptions to match installed conditions and issue a Post-Installation Report. This required report provides the final, as-built cost and savings figures.
Commissioning refers to a quality control process that allows for the achievement, verification, and documentation of a building’s energy performance to ensure it meets defined requirements. Buildings should be commissioned when they are first constructed and after substantial changes are made. Recommissioning involves commissioning a building that was previously commissioned to make sure that it is still operating optimally. Retro-commissioning refers to the process of commissioning a facility that may not have been previously commissioned.
Commissioning is an important process in any EPC project. It ensures that the installation is complete and functioning as intended under various loads and conditions. While commissioning may be completed by the ESP or an independent third party, it is important you also be present for checkout and testing. Commissioning is a prerequisite for substantial completion of the project. See Commissioning Guidelines for EPC for helpful suggestions.
Effective commissioning requires that your organization and the ESP identify your facilities’ specific requirements during project design and develop a clear plan to meet them. In order to achieve this goal, it is critical that you maintain close contact and clear communication with the ESP throughout the design process to ensure the commissioning requirements are effectively incorporated into the specifications. Following the design development process, those requirements can then be used to develop the commissioning plan. Any such plan should include a commissioning schedule, all documentation requirements, and specific team member responsibilities.
It should be noted that commissioning costs can vary significantly depending upon the complexity of a project. Many investments in commissioning will pay back in less than three years via savings from avoided future costs such as equipment repairs or wholesale replacements. The value of commissioning has only increased in recent years as a result of increasingly specialized building systems that must be effectively integrated along with increasingly strict building and safety codes. The cost of commissioning is included in the overall project cost.
As with any new equipment, facility staff (and in some cases the occupants) will need to be trained on proper operation and maintenance. The ESP is responsible for providing this training. The cost of this training can be included in the overall project cost.
When all the contract tasks are completed (installation, commissioning and training), you will sign and issue a Certificate of Acceptance for the Installed Equipment to signify that the work has been completed. A copy of this certificate will be provided to DEQ.
Optional – Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Services
Depending on the complexity of the equipment and other factors, the ESP may offer (for a fee) to operate and maintain the equipment. You may or may not find this advantageous in terms of outsourcing the work to very specialized experts and to maintaining the ESP’s accountability. If there are problems with the equipment, there would be no questions about whether your facility staff might be to blame for improperly operating or maintaining the equipment. The cost of O&M provided by the ESP is normally paid for much like the payroll for your facility staff – it’s a budgeted operating expense as opposed to a cost folded into the overall project cost.