The Silicon Review
“With Energy-as-a-Service, we remove the CapEx and debt barrier for a company to implement those energy-saving initiatives.”
Every organization wants to save money on energy and water, both because it’s good for their bottom line and the environment. But most companies don’t get these projects done due to budgeting issues. When energy efficiency is proposed as a great ROI or fast simple payback, the project is competing with the core use of capital in that business. Most companies focus their CapEx budgets towards growing the company, so energy efficiency typically loses out. With Energy-as-a-Service, Onsite Utility Services Capital LLC removes the CapEx and debt barrier for a company to implement those energy-saving initiatives.
Onsite Utility provides capital for energy efficiency, water conservation, and renewable energy projects throughout the United States. The company brings together vendors, service providers, end-users, and capital resources that allow more businesses and institutions to take advantage of the savings created through utility equipment upgrades by removing the end-users requirement to purchase expensive upgrades out of their pockets.
Onsite was incorporated in 2016 and is headquartered in Delavan, Wisconsin.
Fritz Kreiss: Interview Highlights
Q. Explain your company’s successful journey to date.
In 1990, we were an R&D group, designing and building modular co-generation systems. But when we started to bring them to the market, despite huge interest, every proposal came back that, “It’s not in the budget this year,” and, “We aren’t taking on any debt”. But all along, the answer to that problem was staring me right in my face: We needed to use the same model the electric utility uses. Instead of asking a client to buy equipment, we started to do what the utility does: Take on the debt to capitalize the energy equipment, install it, maintain it, and earn a profit on the ownership – and then charge the customer a monthly fee.
Q. Explain your services in brief.
We are a nationwide Energy-as-a-Service provider that delivers energy efficiency and onsite generation for facilities with zero capital or debt for the client. All of our projects are funded as-a-service, including maintenance and monitoring, which guarantees the upgrades to maintain peak performance. We also provide an Energy-as-a-Service funding platform for energy efficiency and lighting contractors nationwide.
Q. Do you pre-screen the projects before funding them? Do you provide financial assistance for all projects immaterial of their size and sustainability?
We review projects both from an engineering and design perspective to verify the expected energy savings. We successfully can deliver projects of various sizes; last year our projects ranged from $14,000 to $5.2 million.
Q. Where do you think the modern utility management companies are lacking? How does OUS Capital fill that void?
Everyone in the energy efficiency industry has been trained with the same model: Perform an energy audit, prepare a solution from those results, and present it using an ROI or simple payback. The problem with that old model is, it pits the energy efficiency project against other company needs for their capital. So, even though, the client would like to do the project, they simply may not have the budget for it. The energy efficiency industry as a whole needs to break from their old habits of how they provide their solutions to their clients and our Energy-as-a-Service platform delivers the tools to help both our clients as well as our partners build more successful energy projects.
Q. With the population growing, do you think your solutions are ready to face the challenge of the ever-growing demand for infrastructure development?
The energy infrastructure in most buildings has been neglected for decades. It is all about the CapEx problem. Schools, office buildings, cities, or manufacturers have all been kicking the CapEx problem to the next year. We designed our program to solve this problem at-scale nationwide: We work through local and regional lighting, mechanical/HVAC/refrigeration contractors and energy consultant partners to bring our solutions to their client base, and as you can imagine those contractors and partners dramatically improve their businesses as they help their clients finally achieve their energy efficiency goals that, until Energy-as-a-Service came along, had eluded them.
Q. What is your stand against climate change and environmental sustainability?
We feel that Energy-as-a-Service could as much as triple the growth of energy efficiency improvements across the country for businesses, organizations, and institutions of all sizes. This, of course, significantly contributes to helping reduce energy emissions, which is essential in addressing climate change. Good environmental stewardship is now within reach of anyone who wants it.
Q. How cooperative is the government and is there any standard regulation that will help you to work for the cause?
Well, at the local level, government entities see hands-on how energy efficiency can help their community, with reduced electric demand from localized power utilities along with downward pressure on natural gas pricing. I think as these financial benefits become more visible at a larger scale, coupled with the positive environmental impact it brings, we will see more state and even federal government involvement in advocating for energy efficiency to be a cornerstone focus of every business and institution. Energy-as-a-Service can be an economic driver locally.
Q. What are your plans for the future development of your company?
We feel that we are just at the beginning of where energy efficiency is headed. Long-term, we envision solution providers participating in a sort of ‘industry roll-up’ and consolidation to provide for even larger economies of scale, with more companies, municipalities, and institutions finally seeing the profound benefits energy efficiency provides both economically and environmentally. We’re ready to continue leading the way.
About | Fritz Kreiss
Fritz Kreiss serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Onsite Utility Services Capital LLC. He has been in the energy field for 30 years and is a member of the Association of Energy Engineers.