U.S. Communities


Energy Savings Performance Contracting

  • Phone: 855-831-1201

For nearly two decades, McKinstry has helped clients make critical facility improvements that save money, improve energy efficiency and assure occupant comfort as an Energy Services Company (ESCO) using the Energy Performance Contract (EPC) procurement model. With 23 offices across the United States, we can deploy our subject matter experts anywhere in the country. McKinstry has been designing, building and caring for buildings for almost 60 years, so you can rest assured we will be your partner throughout the life of your building.

McKinstry is proud to have been competitively selected by lead public agency Port of Portland to provide energy services for U.S. Communities.

Delivering Outcomes That Are Important To You

We can tailor services and scopes of work to account for uniqueness of building function and system complexity, project timing, phasing, technology needs, and budget constraints.

The lowest cost provider - Only a small percentage of an overall project cost comes during the construction period. The majority of project costs come in the operation of the systems over the life span of the equipment. We are cost effective for first cost and our long-term cost is the lowest.

Financial approach and guarantee - We employ a rigorous and detailed process to calculate energy baselines and savings, but performance assurance goes well beyond just calculated savings. We focus on overall system performance.

National supplier qualifications - McKinstry is a vendor-neutral service provider with a national footprint. Most other national firms are tied to a specific product offering, but with McKinstry, you don't have to align with a specific product vendor. Rather, you can choose the right solution for you.

Sometimes energy savings is the most important aspect of a project, but often a project starts with a real problem that needs to be solved. The success of each project we deliver from development to implementation to operations is based on a measurement and verification plan, the successful performance of systems and our customers' satisfaction with the process. Our clients have a long history working with their facilities, and we build upon this knowledge to help ensure the right operational outcomes are achieved on each project, every time.






McKinstry uses client data, ENERGY STAR and our own internal databases to compare the client’s energy use performance to other similar facilities in a particular geography to develop a rough savings potential.

Energy Auditing

Energy engineers develop energy models and analyze the various design scenarios by evaluating all potential options for improvement, including renewable options.

Engineering Design

We offer engineering, drawing permitting and stamping, energy retrofits, sustainable design, operational modeling, BIM, CAD, CAD 3D and super plot drafting and detailing, Total Cost of Ownership analysis, guidance for critical decisions, code compliance, system selection, and LEED® certification.

General Contracting

McKinstry provides provision of material, labor, equipment, and services; hiring of subcontractors, procurement of building permits; site security; managing personnel on site; site surveying and engineering; disposing of or recycling construction waste; monitoring schedules and budget; and maintaining records. We will subcontract general contracting to qualified local firms.

Construction Management/ Administration

Preconstruction planning and coordination; subcontractor and equipment procurement; safety management; quality management; schedule management; budget management; onsite supervision and coordination; and project closeout.

Testing & Balancing

McKinstry performs all TAB work in accordance to NEBB. McKinstry is a NEBB certified firm (#2728) and NEBB Qualified Supervisors perform or supervise all TAB work.

Commissioning/ Retro-Cx

For new construction, modernization projects, existing buildings, and facilities.

Warranty Services

Development and management of the warranty issue work order process; 24x7x365 work order management; vendor dispatch management; tracking and follow up; routine vendor performance reporting; ongoing equipment status details; and warranty preventative maintenance management.

Energy Savings Guarantees 

McKinstry has executed projects that range in size from $50,000 – $20,000,000 that have resulted in our customers’ seeing significant utility rebates, and large annual energy savings. The energy savings are derived from developing smart projects that are designed to reduce electrical, gas, water, and waste usage. The energy savings are converted to a dollar figure (by using the units saved multiplied by the utility rate) and guaranteed up to 100%.

Equipment Acceptance Testing

McKinstry performs site acceptance testing using predictive maintenance technologies as an integral part of assuring equipment condition. Acceptance testing is performed in conjunction with the commissioning agent and does not replace commissioning.


We can directly finance projects if needed, however, we typically rely on financing solutions available in the marketplace and recommend advantageous programs available to public agencies.

Maintenance/ Post-Installation Operation

We develop an engineered maintenance plan that lists the various service tasks and frequency for all of the applicable system components.

Measurement & Verification

McKinstry adheres to the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP) in performing M&V procedures. Our capabilities include extensive logging equipment and a remote monitoring station staffed 24x7.

powerED Behavior Management

powerED is an energy awareness and management program that promotes staff engagement, increases building efficiency, and reduces costs.

Remote Monitoring

24-hour remote monitoring throughout the United States via a modem, network connection, and building DDC controls allows us to analyze system operations and foresee potential problems.


We provide onsite training session for all appropriate aspects of the project with an engineer or vendor, as appropriate. McKinstry provides instruction on a proper maintenance plan and strategy.

Utility Rebates & Incentives

We work closely with our utility partners to maximize the incentive dollars our customers can get. 

Web-Based Project Management

Workflow process development/management; control system support and service; centralized facility documentation; 24x7x365 customer service and issue management; event scheduling and management; key performance indicators development and management; facility asset management and business reporting; vendor/service provider management; facility issues prioritization, dispatch and tracking.


What is an ESCO?

An Energy Services Company (ESCO) provides a broad range of comprehensive energy solutions including design and implementation of energy savings projects, energy conservation, energy infrastructure outsourcing, power generation and energy supply, and risk management.

ESCOs differ from energy-efficiency consulting firms and equipment contractors because they offer performance-based contracting where the company's compensation, and often the project's financing, is directly linked to the amount of energy that is actually saved. 

What is an ESPC?

An Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) is a budget-neutral approach to make building improvements that reduce energy and water use and increase operational efficiency. Using this approach, an ESCO conducts a comprehensive energy audit for the facility and identifies improvements to save energy and/or create operational efficiencies. In consultation with the owner, the ESCO designs and constructs a project that meets the owner's needs and arranges or supports finding the necessary financing. The ESCO guarantees the improvements will generate energy cost savings sufficient to pay for the project over time. After the contract ends, all additional cost savings accrue to the owner.

ESPCs allow building owners to accomplish energy savings projects with limited or no up-front capital costs. The savings in energy costs are used to pay back the capital investment of the project over a specified period, or reinvested to allow for capital upgrades that may otherwise be unfeasible. If the project does not provide the specified return on the investment, the ESCO is responsible to pay the difference or make the necessary changes to achieve the guaranteed results.

Benefits of ESPC

Proven Methodology: a widely accepted means of making facility improvements.

Single Negotiated Contract: Enables the execution of multiple projects under one contract with a single point of accountability. 

Alternative Funding Source: Funds that would have been spent on utilities are spent on facility improvements.

Real Savings: ESCOs have to ensure savings are realized as they are obligated to pay for any shortfall.

Improved Facilities: Improved indoor or outdoor environments, energy efficient systems, reduced maintenance costs and equipment breakdowns.

Alternative Finance

McKinstry can help develop custom financial solutions for energy efficiency projects. We also coordinate with utility companies and government entities to secure available incentives and rebates. We work within your state's statutory debt limit, procurement legislation, and applicable loan programs to provide finance options in-line with your investment criteria.

Savings Guarantees

In energy performance contracting, utility and operations savings provide cash flow to repay any debt incurred to fund infrastructure upgrades. The utility savings are derived from electrical, gas, water, and waste facility improvement measures that are implemented. The energy savings are converted to a dollar figure (by using the units saved multiplied by the utility rate) and guaranteed up to 90-100%.

Funding Sources

Tax-Exempt Bonds
A tax-exempt bond is a debt instrument issued by a government entity, including states, cities, counties, school and fire districts, airports, and special purpose districts. Similar to a loan, the public entity issuer promises to pay the lender, or bondholder, interest and principle at agreed-upon rates and terms.

Savings from energy-efficiency improvements can be used as a repayment stream, resulting in budget-neutral or budget-accretive financing solutions.

Tax-Exempt Municipal Lease Purchase Agreement
Also known as a tax-exempt capital lease, a municipal lease purchase is an installment purchase contract that most public entities can use to finance equipment and capital projects at a low fixed-interest rate. The effective interest rate depends on the strength of collateral, the borrower's credit worthiness, the duration of financing and current market rates, but is typically approximately 2.5%-4.0%. In many states, savings from energy efficiency equipment installation can be used as lease payments, resulting in a budget-neutral solution.

Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZAB) for K-12 schools
Qualified Zone Academy Bonds (QZABs) are low interest rate bonds available to a "Qualified Zone Academy." A Qualified Zone Academy must be in an Enterprise Zone or have greater than 35% of students enrolled in the Free and Reduced Lunch program. The bonds can be used to finance building rehabilitation including energy-efficiency retrofits, equipment, and training.

State Loan Programs

State loan programs will often authorize the sale of bonds to finance energy efficiency projects. Loans are typically available for schools, cities, counties, special districts, state agencies, and cooperatives. Terms can vary, but are generally set to match the term of the bonds that funded the loans. Loan terms may not exceed project life. Loan fees are set based on the size of the loan and rates are often more competitive than conventional borrowing methods.

Utility Funding

The participation of the utilities throughout the entire project is critical to the success of energy projects. A representative from the utility's conservation program is an important member of the project team to ensure all necessary milestones are met from the utility's perspective and to add innovative suggestions for maximizing energy savings and minimizing payback.



McKinstry has delivered energy services work for hundreds of schools throughout the nation and has the expertise and resources necessary to help schools optimize their energy usage and improve comfort levels for students and faculty.

McKinstry works with schools to understand their facility needs and goals and provides detailed and accurate construction-grade estimates that include capital, operational and maintenance costs. This ensures the most economic and efficient use of capital funds for improving utility systems, upgrading aging equipment, and meeting growing demands on the building systems. Communication to community stakeholders is also important and McKinstry helps manage the necessary listening sessions and public forums to provide full transparency to taxpayers.

Higher Education

Not only do efficient and smart buildings save money, they attract and retain top-notch talent, bolster enrollment, and provide opportunities for research and innovation, while demonstrating a practical commitment to sustainability that today's students value.

There are many ways to create an optimal campus environment. Whether you need a facility master plan, budget-neutral energy efficiency upgrades, smart energy management systems, or a carbon footprint reduction plan, McKinstry is here to help you meet your goals.

Front Range Community College, Fort Collins, CO

Contract Period: 3/2016 - 10/2016
Contract Value: $83,277
McKinstry performed a complete, turnkey replacement of building automation systems for the Sunlight Peak laboratory facility at Front Range Community College. McKinstry also did a full building analysis to determine the controls issues and deficiencies throughout the building, created a design to cost-effectively replace the controls, competitively bid and managed all labor, programming, and project shedule requirements.

Sunlight Peak is a 24/7 critical lab facility with complex controls and redudancy, therefore McKinstry had to successfully manage working after hours, during school breaks, and ensure set points were continously maintained for critical spaces such as the cadevor labs.

Washington State University; Pullman, WA

Contract Period: 01/2001 - Present
Contract Value: Numerous Contracts Totaling $235M
Since 2001 McKinstry has developed, designed, and implemented more $235 million of new construction, facility/infrastructure improvements, and energy conservation projects at WSU. Many of these projects focused on improving efficiency and operational performance throughout several million-sq. ft. of diverse infrastructure systems. Many of these were in critical and research environments and required interaction and scheduling around sensitive operations and occupancy.

McKinstry deployed a campus-wide utilities metering initiative through sub metering all major sources of energy and water consumption on campus. McKinstry continues to partner with WSU to ensure the validity of the data performance. As part of the project funding, our team supported the University in securing over $3M dollars of energy grants for this project.


McKinstry helps public agencies with the design, construction, and financial insight needed to reduce capital costs, increase revenue, and maximize the value of your taxpayer dollars.

Maintaining your municipal infrastructure is no easy feat. Your per view consists of buildings, street lighting, wastewater plants, utility meters, pools, civic centers, jails, public safety buildings, convention centers, public assembly facilities and athletic complexes. McKinstry understands the unique challenges associated with each of these. Energy savings are certainly important, but not the only thing to be considered when understanding the environmental, political and economic components of a community.

When it comes to light levels in streets or mechanical equipment in buildings, energy efficiency and commitment to sustainability tends to get a community's attention. McKinstry assists with public outreach to educate and respond to community questions, comments and concerns.

Tacoma Wastewater Treatment facility; The City of Tacoma, WA

Project Dates: Audit and Design: 2015-2017; Anticipated Construction Completion: 2018

The waste-water treatment plant for the City of Tacoma treats approximately 15 million gallons of wastewater per day. The project measures include replacing mixers in a digester, upgrading lighting, heat recovery off of the solids leaving the digester, and adding flare-gas cleaning/compression equipment.

The Tacoma project is first Pacific Northwest installation of this innovative new solution for biogas systems less than 300 SCFM.

Measures of Successful Implementation:

  • McKinstry analyzed the use of biogas with the best life-cycle net present value, including re-evaluation of onsite boiler use.
  • McKinstry arranged project financing so no upfront capital was required and the project creates immediate and continuous positive cash flow for the City.
  • Project will generate $1,392,000 in total annual revenue/savings.
  • McKinstry's own engineers, project managers, and mechanical and electrical construction teams participated, gaining unique experience with this solution.
  • The flare gas is cleaned and compressed to create CNG for fleet-vehicle fuel which accounts for the majority of the project savings
  • Annual renewable credit revenue of $1.08 million
  • Annual RNG savings of $265,000
  • Electrical savings of $23,000

Jeffereson County, CO

Project Dates: March 2013 - September 2015
Project Value: $11M over 3 phases

McKinstry assisted in obtaining a $2,200,000 ARRA EECBG grant and provided a solar thermal system, five solar PV systems, solar PV/wind-powered parking lot lights, lighting and lighting control retrofits, and public kiosks to educate residents and staff about renewable energy efforts. At the library, first year savings were $400,000 and the county has seen a consistent 30-35% drop in electricity consumption.

For Phase II in 2015, we completed an ESPC for nine additional facilities projected to add $107,000 annually to initial project savings representing over $4,200,000 in cumulative savings over the lifetime of the project.


Solar projects are highly scalable and can be tailored to meet budget requirements, financial cash flows, capture industry incentives, and public awareness/messaging needs. McKinstry does a feasibility analysis that looks at rough project costs, savings, maintenance, risks, and other relevant information to help you decide is solar is a viable option for clients.

Throughout the development process, McKinstry uses industry accepted solar modeling tools to predict system performance. McKinstry's solar projects focus on lowering the first cost of installation to create a better return on investment.

Pendleton Solar PV Array, Oregon Military Department (OMD)

Project Dates: September 2014 - June 2014

This Solar Array project's 31,000 square foot, 475 SV panel installation is part of OMD's list of goals and projects, developed with a long-ranging Net Zero strategy in mind, to upgrade many of their existing facilities with alternate energy and energy efficiency measures. McKinstry can pinpoint the best potential renewable energy projects for the City of Bend toward the City's similar goals of renewable energy generation.

Measures of Successful Implementation:

  • These SV panels convert 150 kW of energy to AC power supplied back to the grid
  • The Pendleton installation offsets 183,780 kWh annually (enough energy to power 17 homes for one year)
  • McKinstry helped the OMD receive $250,000 of grant funding and $84,319 of incentives to help offset nearly half of the construction costs
Street Lighting

LED roadway lighting has now become a cost-effective retrofit, due to its increased efficiency and performance, and the decreased cost of fixtures.

McKinstry's program to Re-light American Roadways is a turn-key solution to convert roadway lighting in our communities in the most cost-effective manner. Our process is as follows:

GIS Audit: Confirmation of the inventory owned and operated by your jurisdiction.

Financial Analysis: Discuss funding opportunities available and the advantages of each. This process includes confirming utility rate schedules and unbundling cost structures, as well cost and return on investment analysis.

Design: Design includes photometric analysis, fixture selection, code compliance and color temperature selection.

Construct and Commission: Lighting techs and electricians convert existing lighting to LED fixtures. Fixtures and control systems are commissioned, and each fixture is inventoried to import into your GIS system or asset management records.

Lowest Cost: National buying agreements with major manufacturers and the most efficient implementation crews help us provide the lowest cost for your conversion.

Why LEDs?

Reduced energy consumption
LED roadway lights uses 60-75% less energy than current technologies.

Reduced maintenance costs
LED roadway lights last up to four times longer than traditional roadway lights. Most non-LED roadway lights, which rely on filaments and tubes that burn out, need to be replaced every 4-6 years. LED lights, which instead rely on computer chips and electronic parts, are expected to last for 15-20 years and are less likely to unexpectedly fail.

Improved light quality
LED lights produce better color rendering and uniform illumination patterns. The white light emitted by LEDs shows colors as they really are, and provides better visibility for drivers and pedestrians.

Environmentally friendly
LED light fixtures don't use mercury or other toxic substances, and are often 100% recyclable. Longer lifetimes of the fixtures means fewer end up the landfill.

LED roadway lights often qualify for low-cost financing
Public agencies often qualify for low-interest bonds, grants or subsidies to upgrade their roadway lighting, which help offset the initial cost of the projects.

Facility Assessment

Your facilities - and all the assets that keep your building running smoothly - aren't getting any younger. Years of deferred maintenance mean each budget cycle forces you to make hard choices and leave important facility investments on the table. What's more, you're often missing critical information, such as the asset's condition, how compatible it is with your other assets and, most importantly, how it would affect your business if it failed. Without the right data, you run the risk of investing in the wrong places.

McKinstry's trained industry experts interview those who know the building best, visually review every piece of equipment and then assess how critical it is to your business. This facility data is the key to uncovering the condition of your assets, putting them to best use today, and planning projects and capital improvements for the future.

The Process

Facility Assessments can help you determine if an energy services project is needed. During our evaluation, we do the following:

Learn: We start with what you know. We interview all stakeholders, review your documentation and make a plan, together. We identify your facility pain points and look to align your facility needs with your core business needs.

Audit: Then, we head onsite. We review architectural, structural, mechanical, and electrical elements of the building. We can also look at energy conservation or safety opportunities.

Analyze: Back at the office, we start to crunch the data. We build construction-grade repair and replacement cost estimates, and score each asset based on the criteria we set together.

Report: We use quantitative and qualitative information about your facility to develop a Visualization Tool and a detailed report with information on each asset. We provide you with the tools to budget for your facilities based on equipment condition and how it affects your business needs.

Energy Management

Understanding the performance of your building systems could save you money and energy. Building owners don't have to sacrifice operational excellence or comfort to reduce energy usage and cost.

Many facility owners focus on business requirements and devote minimal effort to measuring and reducing their energy consumption despite significant utility costs. McKinstry's Active Energy Management (AEM) program combines best-in-class technology with hands-on building expertise to systematically deliver utility savings and increase operational performance.

The Active Energy Management approach is agnostic, scalable and client-directed. No black boxes kicking out hundreds of alarms that quickly drown operations teams. Instead, we leverage technology to drive greater understanding of building performance and more rapid feedback for operators. Our goal is to free the operations team from a reactive mode of chasing issues to a proactive mode of investigating system performance enhancement opportunities and ensuring changes result in measurable impacts.

McKinstry leverages a mix of purpose-built and off-the-shelf technologies. Buildings are unique and one-size fits all technologies don't work. Instead, we focus on extracting data from any existing data source and then use purpose-built tools to help store and analyze the information. Reporting and data visualization is done in industry-best tools.


Commissioning has emerged as an essential part of project delivery and a preferred method for ensuring building systems are installed and operated to provide maximum performance.

Commissioning process activities can include the following energy-related systems, at a minimum:

  • Heating, ventilating, air conditioning, refrigeration systems (mechanical and passive), and associated controls
  • Lighting and daylighting controls
  • Domestic hot water systems
  • Renewable energy systems (wind, solar, etc.)

McKinstry also evaluates plumbing systems, building envelope systems, and other systems in the scope of the commissioning plan as appropriate.

Benefits of commissioning include reduced energy use, lower operating costs, reduced contractor callbacks, better building documentation, improved occupant productivity, and verification that the systems perform in accordance with the owner's project requirements. Below are the different commissioning services McKinstry offers.

New Building Commissioning

Commissioning verifies a building's energy-related systems are installed, calibrated, and perform according to the owner's project requirements, basis of design, and construction documents.

Enhanced Commissioning

Enhanced building commissioning initiates the commissioning process during the design process and executes additional activities after systems performance verification is completed.

Existing Building Commissioning

Building performance generally declines after two to five years.Existing building commissioning can return a building to its peak performance by optimizing system operations.

Continuous Commissioning

Continuous commissioning monitors energy savings with follow-up commissioning to optimize system operation and control schedules based on actual building conditions.


Commissioning agents are independent of a project's design and construction management. McKinstry's designated commissioning agents develop and incorporate commissioning requirements into construction documents, develop and implement a commissioning plan, verify the installation and performance of the systems to be commissioned, and complete a summary commissioning report.