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ERCIP – a tool in the energy assurance toolbox

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- One tool available to installations seeking mission assurance through energy assurance is the energy resilience and conservation investment program (ERCIP).

The program is a subset of the defense-wide military construction program that funds projects to increase resilience, save energy or water, produce energy or reduce the cost of energy for the Department of Defense. It supports construction of new, high-efficiency energy systems and modernization of existing ones. Projects in this program aim to improve energy resilience in a cleaner, cost-competitive manner.

“In order for the warfighter to execute the mission, reliable, resilient energy is a must,” said Les Martin, Air Force Civil Engineer Center Program Development division chief. “ERCIP is one of the tools that help installations achieve that.”

Projects can be as large as $15 million, though even larger projects may be phased to meet this guideline. The Air Force typically receives approximately $40 million annually to fund between eight and 12 projects. Last year, the Air Force received $49.5 million that funded six projects.

“Historically the Air Force has received substantial funding that supports bases in addressing their respective pressing energy requirements,” said Nate Hix, interim ERCIP program manager at AFCEC.

The AFCEC Program Development division issues a call for projects during the fourth quarter of each fiscal year to be executed two years out (projects submitted in fiscal year 2017 will be for 2019 projects). After projects are submitted to AFCEC, they are validated, ranked and submitted to the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense in October. OSD normally publishes the selected list the following January.

Project selection is based primarily on economics with a strong focus on enhancing energy and mission resilience. All projects are given a life cycle cost analysis to assess long-term cost effectiveness. Savings to investment ratio, simple payback, energy saved to investment ratio and resiliency score are important factors in project ranking, along with answers to the following questions:
• Is there a documented base energy plan in the Department of Defense form 1391, and how will the project affect that?
• Does the project integrate multiple energy savings, monitoring or renewable energy technologies to realize synergistic benefits?
• Does the project implement a technology validated in a demonstration program or an innovative technology that represents potentially significant improvement?
• How does the project demonstrate improved energy resilience in compliance with Department of Defense Instruction 4170.11?

Once awarded, projects are executed by the Army Corps of Engineers, unless an installation desires to execute the project locally. This allows base personnel to allocate resources throughout the installation as opposed to executing the project.

“The ERCIP program provides bases a prime opportunity to utilize OSD funding to complete projects that enhance energy and mission resilience but are not candidates for third-party financing or operations and maintenance funding,” said Hix. “We are always available to assist bases with their submissions.”

The Program Development division of AFCEC can be contacted with questions you may have about this program or to provide guidance as you navigate the process through the Reachback Center. Contact them through CE DASH or at 888-232-3721.