Procuring electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) and components of zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) as load-management or energy-saving energy conservation measures (ECMs) through performance contracts would simultaneously increase the penetration of EVSE and ZEVs in the federal fleet portfolio and enhance a site's ability to meet various decarbonization and efficiency goals through the benefits of load management, managed charging, and mobile storage.

Cost Savings with EVSE

Accounting for resilience, enhanced efficiency, and grid benefits are some of the many ways to save money with EVSE. Cost savings with EVSE can be measured in various ways, including but not limited to:

  • Comparing use of mobile batteries to primary or secondary emergency diesel generators
  • Accounting for the additional benefits of EVSE plus electric vehicles (EVs) as a demand response asset
  • Evaluating the increased efficiency of electricity usage with a dual-use mobile battery.

The use case of an EV functioning as part of a facility's fleet and as a demand response asset can decrease the cumulative footprint and cost required for both energy storage and fleet.

Cost savings and efficiency gains can be calculated in multiple ways, such as comparing the cost per megawatt of storage for a stationary battery versus a mobile battery with the additional benefit of being a vehicle, and the avoided cost of a new internal combustion engine vehicle. Cost comparison of EV and EVSE can be estimated at a small scale for various providers, while larger-scale projects would require economies of scale analysis.

Current available options include the Tesla Powerwall, a stationary battery intended for solar photovoltaic (PV) energy storage that costs roughly $7,500/unit (14 kWh) plus $4,500/unit for installation ($12,000 total), and the 40-kWh Nissan Leaf EV awarded through a GSA contract with an incremental cost of $4,900, plus a bidirectional EVSE ($4,000 estimated) and an estimated $4,500 for installation ($13,400 total in 2022 dollars).

Categories Stationary Storage Mobile Storage
Manufacturer and Model Tesla Powerwall Nissan Leaf
Cost (Incremental for EV) $12,000 $13,400
Battery Capacity (kWh) 14 40
Cost Per kWh $857 $335


Federal facilities applying for the Assisting Federal Facilities with Energy Conservation Technologies (AFFECT)/Federal Energy Efficiency Fund (FEEF) grant are now able to apply for funding in conjunction with "electrification of facilities and fleets..."

The 2021 AFFECT Request for Proposal (DE-FOA-0002472) stated the following under Areas of Interest "technical solutions that are in alignment with the following DOE EERE priority Areas of Interest: Climate Change Adaptation-Resilient and/or Efficient… could include but are not limited to… Decarbonization of facilities and energy use…Electrification of facilities and fleets (particularly in conjunction with low carbon electricity supply or renewable energy sources). Fuel switching to lower carbon content of energy supply."

Of the 2021 AFFECT Funding Recipients, both the Federal Aviation Administration and the Internal Revenue Service incorporated EVSE into their decarbonization proposal. The Federal Aviation Administration will implement a novel project to directly address federal building energy efficiency and load management, in coordination with their serving utility, to bundle EVSE with a range of other energy efficiency and resilience ECMs; while the Internal Revenue Service is pursuing a near-net zero, comprehensive energy efficiency and resilience project that will empower up to 30 days of off-grid operation through various ECMs, including use of EVSE to achieve near-net zero operational status.

EVSE and ZEVs through Utilities

The integration of EVSE and ZEVs into utility energy service contracts (UESCs) is a new potential application of 42 USC 8256. Agencies are encouraged to work with their legal and contracting teams to determine what is appropriate to include in a UESC executed outside of a GSA Areawide contract. FEMP does not have a collection of case studies and information upon which to recommend best practices at this time. One option for acquiring EVSE is to use the GSA Areawide Contract Exhibit A Authorization for Electric Service. EV charging example for exhibit A and exhibit D. For questions regarding what is appropriate using the GSA Areawide contract, please contact GSA at

EVSE and ZEVs through ESPCs

FEMP's frequently asked questions on the scope of 42 U.S.C. § 8287 et seq. includes guidance on the use of ESPCs to procure EVSE and components of EVs.

Can Federal agencies use ESPCs to purchase electric vehicle supply equipment?

EVSE may be incorporated into an ESPC if it is part of an ECM or if it is demonstrated that the EVSE results in energy savings to a federal building. Three examples demonstrate permissible instances:

  1. A power generation ECM, such as photovoltaics or cogeneration, that includes equipment such as EVSE to facilitate delivery of power to an end use
  2. An ECM that includes EVSE with charging capabilities employed for load management (e.g., kilowatt savings and energy-related cost savings), such as participation in a demand response program
  3. An ECM that replaces existing EVSE with more-efficient EVSE, where doing so results in energy savings to the federal building. Where EVSE is incorporated in an ESPC, the energy used by the EV (e.g., gasoline, electricity, or other) for non-building purposes would not be included in the ESPC building energy use calculations.

Because ESPC applications for EVSE could be complex, agencies should contact FEMP as they consider the incorporation of EVSE in an ESPC.

Can Federal agencies use ESPCs to purchase electric vehicles?

The ESPC statute does not confer authority for agencies to procure EVs as part of an ESPC. In limited circumstances, however, there may be an opportunity for components of EVs to be included in an ESPC. For example, a load management ECM that incorporates bidirectional charging from an EV to provide power for building backup or load management (e.g., for the purpose of participating in a demand response program) could incorporate the EV components used for those purposes (e.g., the vehicle’s battery, charging unit, controls, related construction and/or supporting infrastructure, and related components) in an ESPC. Where EV components are incorporated in an ESPC, the energy used by the EV (e.g., gasoline, electricity, or other) for non-building purposes would not be included in the ESPC building energy use calculations. Because ESPC applications for EV components are limited, agencies should contact FEMP as they consider the incorporation of EV components in an ESPC.

Examples of EVSE and ZEVs as ECMs

Example 1: EV and EVSE as Load Management ECMs

In this example, the EV and EVSE are used for electric load management of a federal facility. The demand or electric load is shifted or reduced, resulting in reduced peak electric demand (kilowatts) and reduced utility cost savings. Electricity (kilowatt-hour) consumption is slightly increased to accommodate charging the vehicle as the battery is charged (consuming electricity) and discharged (providing electricity), with some inefficiencies. This ECM constitutes demand flexibility, providing grid efficiency benefits such as the reduced need for peaker generation units and increased accommodation of intermittent generation like wind and solar. This promotes decarbonization of the grid. Line losses (~5% according to frequently asked questions on EIA) are also reduced with the lower peak power levels.


Electricity (kWh) Demand (kW) Utility Cost Savings ($)
Baseline energy 1,000,000 kWh 175 kW $106,250
Post-retrofit energy 1,000,240 kWh 165 kW $104,750
Savings -240 kWh 10 kW $1,496

Example 2: EV and EVSE—Replacing with More Efficient EVSE

In this example, a federal facility has one existing EVSE (included in the baseline). As part of an ECM the facility is replacing the older EVSE with a more efficient (ENERGY STAR) EVSE, or going from a Level 1 to a Level 2 charger, resulting in electricity (kilowatt-hour) and utility cost savings due to increased efficiency of the charger and reduced standby losses. According to ENERGY STAR, EV chargers are typically in standby mode (i.e., not actively charging a vehicle) for about 85% of the time. ENERGY STAR certified EV chargers provide the same functionality as non-certified products but use 40% less energy in standby mode, reducing their impact on the environment.

Greater efficiency equals more savings: When choosing an EV charger, it is helpful to note that Level 2 chargers provide higher charging efficiency and faster charging times when compared with Level 1 chargers. Level 2 charging is on average 10% more efficient than Level 1, while adding approximately four times more miles per hour of charging.


Electricity (kWh) Demand (kW) Utility Cost Savings ($)
Baseline energy 1,000,000 kWh 175 kW $106,250
Post-retrofit energy 999,000 kWh 175 kW $106,170
Savings 1,000 kWh 0 kW $100