P4P FAQ | Energy Solutions | Seattle City Light


Find quick answers to your P4P questions

Pay for Performance (P4P) is an approach to energy efficiency in which incentive payments are made over time and based on actual energy savings measured at the electric meter. This differs from the standard approach of offering an upfront incentive payment based on the estimated energy savings from an energy conservation measure. Since savings are measured at the meter in P4P, savings can come from building retrofits and equipment upgrades as well as behavioral, operational and maintenance (O&M) and retro-commissioning activities. Participants receive a set incentive rate for energy savings achieved over the course of a defined performance period (either three or five years). Incentive payments are made at the end of each year of the performance period.

P4P is open to Seattle City Light commercial customers who own or operate buildings that have the following characteristics:

  • 50,000 square feet or more of conditioned space
  • Interval meter (access to hourly or 15-minute interval energy usage data at the building level)
  • Stable building energy use over the past year

Commercial buildings less than 50,000 square feet may also be eligible for P4P if they have high energy use and access to hourly or 15-minute interval energy usage data at the building level.

To be eligible for P4P, savings from planned capital equipment improvements (HVAC, lighting, envelope, etc.) must be identified as at least 15 percent of a building’s baseline electric consumption. Contact your service provider for help determining estimated savings associated with planned capital equipment improvements, or Seattle City Light for assistance with determining your baseline electric consumption.

Want to see if your building or project may qualify? Contact a Seattle City Light Energy Advisor at (206)-684-3800 or SCLEnergyAdvisor@seattle.gov.

Participants in P4P are not eligible for any other energy efficiency financing through City Light. However, participants are eligible to participate in City Light’s renewable energy offerings.  They may also be eligible to receive Energy Analysis Assistance (EAA) funding through City Light.

Contact a Seattle City Light Energy Advisor at 206-684-3800 or SCLEnergyAdvisor@seattle.gov to learn more.

Participants in P4P can expect to complete the following steps:

  1. Get started
    • Contact City Light at 206-684-3800 or SCLEnergyAdvisor@seattle.gov to request a program application.
    • Complete the program application, with general information about your building and project.
    • Develop a project plan outlining energy savings activities and estimated savings expected to be achieved over the performance period.
    • Submit the program application and project plan to City Light for the initial eligibility screening.
  2. Build the Baseline Model
    • Once the program application and capital improvement plan are approved by City Light, build a baseline model that demonstrates the building meets the measurement and verification (M&V) requirements for P4P. Customers typically work with an energy services provider or engineering firm to build a baseline model.
  3. Contract with Seattle City Light
    • Complete a City Light Participation Agreement and select either the three- or five-year option. The program requirements are outlined as part of the City Light Participation Agreement.
  4. Implement savings plan
    • Notify City Light at the beginning of the performance period. The performance period must begin within one year after the Participation Agreement is signed.
    • Implement energy conservation measures.
  5. Quarterly and annual reporting
    • Continue to implement energy conservation measures and submit quarterly reports to City Light that summarize completed measures for the duration of the project.
    • Complete annual reports that include verification of energy savings for the duration of the project.
  6. Annual payments

City Light issues annual incentive payments in each year of the performance period based on verified normalized energy savings.

Contact a Seattle City Light Energy Advisor at 206-684-3800 or SCLEnergyAdvisor@seattle.gov to learn more or request a program application packet.

Download a printable version of the P4P FAQ.