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What’s the Difference Between Energy Service Companies and Utility Providers?

EnergyLink is an energy service company. However, there has been some confusion in regards to what EnergyLink does and how to differentiate an energy service company from a utility provider.

What is an Energy Service Company?

Energy service companies (ESCOs) develop, design, build and fund projects that save energy, reduce energy costs, and decrease operations and maintenance costs at their customers’ facilities, according to the Department of Energy.

The services that an energy service company provide included:

  • Offering energy-efficiency improvements using performance-based contracting methodology, such as an energy audit
  • Developing a project for a comprehensive range of energy conservation measures
  • Evaluating the technical and performance risks associated with a project
  • Arrange project financing and assist the organization in understanding the available financing options
  • Implementing an energy project
  • Ordering and installing energy equipment
  • Providing ongoing operations and maintenance savings
  • Preparing reports for the customer detailing energy savings and a reconciliation plan if the energy savings were to fall below projections

The areas that an energy service company usually works with are:

What is a Utility Provider?

A utility provider aims to provide efficient services to companies. There are different types of utility providers, such as electric utility providers, natural gas providers, water and sewer providers, etc.

Utility providers usually own and maintains the lines, wires, poles, and transformers that deliver electricity, water, and gas to homes and buildings. They are responsible for:

  • Checking meters
  • Restoring power after severe weather and emergencies
  • Fixing gas leaks

There is usually one or a couple utility providers serving a large geographical area. And people usually go to a utility provider when they have questions about their electricity, gas and water bill. Also, if there is a power outage, gas leak, or other emergencies in a region, people will want to go to their utility provider for recovering information.

What does an Energy Service Company Provide that a Utility Provider does not?

The main point of differentiation between an energy service company and a utility provider is that an energy service company aims to help people upgrade their energy system to save money and energy, whereas a utility provider satisfies the basic utility need for homes and buildings.

Some benefits that an energy service company provides that a utility provider does not are:

  • Savings in energy bills
  • Infrastructure improvement
  • Environmental benefits
  • Financing counseling

In a nutshell, an energy service company takes a holistic view of your building, using a creative mix of energy products to drive the required results and achieve your goal of saving money and increasing property value.

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