The Energy Services Company (ESCO) Industry: Industry and Market Trends

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As retail competition accelerates, energy service companies (ESCOs) are confronting major structural changes in the "energy services" industry and a business environment in which many large customers are re-thinking their energy-related purchasing practices. This paper analyzes recent trends in the ESCO industry and looks specifically at how traditional performance contracting firms are faring during the transition to a new market structure. We also discuss trends in both established and emerging ESCO markets. Key findings include: (1) Independent ESCOs are declining both in number and share of the market for energy-efficiency services; (2) Utility-owned ESCOs and retail energy service companies (RESCOs) are an increasingly significant force in the energy-efficiency services market; and (3) Performance contracting, long a hallmark of the ESCO industry, is being overtaken by other forms of energy service contracts in percentage of total revenue.

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