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Sustainable Energy Services Agreement (SESA)

Provided by: Metrus Energy

Category: Business Agreement Format, Financial/Accounting Strategies

The Sustainable Energy Services Agreement (SESA) is an innovative pay-for-performance, climate-positive financing solution. It allows colleges and universities to implement multi-measure energy efficiency (EE) and clean energy projects with zero upfront capital expenditure. Similar in structure to a power purchase agreement (PPA), the SESA is a flexible way to improve operations, save energy and money by consolidating upgrades into one simplified contract.

In a SESA, schools pay based on the measured savings accomplished by the project. Projects bundle efficiency upgrades and clean energy measures to obtain deeper savings. Consequentially, these rates fall at or below the existing utility rate.

The SESA is a flexible solution that can fund any type of asset that saves electricity, natural gas, fuel oil and water. Energy efficiency, solar photovoltaics, battery storage, and EV chargers can be built into a single SESA project. By delegating environmental, energy efficiency, and sustainability goals onto an external solution provider, schools can retain more decision-making, planning, and funding capacity for their primary operations. SESAs often include the ongoing maintenance of the installed equipment, comprehensively monitoring their operation and verifying their savings and performance success.

Benefits of Sustainable Energy Services Agreement

  • No upfront costs: the third-party asset owner finances retrofits and you pay based on measured savings
  • Off-balance sheet solution preserves debt capacity
  • SESA projects bring immediate savings and can reduce your carbon footprint by thousands of metric tons


  • Project development can be complex, take time to implement and involve multiple stakeholders on campus
  • Market confusion and lack of awareness about “as a service” offering


  • GHG Impact


    SESA projects bundle measures to drive deeper energy savings, delivering large GHG reductions.

  • Economic Impact

    Net Savings

    Cash flow positive, off-balance sheet and no upfront costs.

  • Feasibility


    SESA contractual model works in every state and is best suited for campuses with approximately 1,000 students or more.

  • Timeline

    < 1 year

    The development timeline varies from 6 to 12 months depending on the project scope.

  • Maintenance

    Low / None

    Selected maintenance services are typically included in SESA projects based on what works best for a campus and its facility team.

  • Publicity

    That's really cool

    SESA projects create and encourage multiple opportunities for publicity and engagement (learning opportunities) with students.

Sustainable Energy Savings Calculator

Metrus’s Sustainable Energy Savings Calculator can give you an economic and environmental impact estimate of your desired upgrades.

Metrus 2021 Impact Report

Metrus’s 2021 Impact Report gives an overview of SESA’s financial and environmental impact. It provides the return on investment as well as the amount of CO2 saved. In doing so, this report sets an example for the Energy as a Service and environmental investing industries to consistently report on emissions reductions for all projects and investments.

Queen's University Case Study

Even before COVID-19, small colleges and universities faced challenging circumstances. In order to compete for prospective students, schools needed to control costs to keep tuition affordable; provide comfortable, up-to-date facilities; and demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and the environment. For Queens University of Charlotte, the challenge was compounded by an urgent need to replace critical equipment required to reliably deliver energy to buildings on campus. There was a solution, however: the Metrus Sustainable Energy Services Agreement (SESA), which made it possible to achieve the upgrades and savings it needed — with no upfront cost.

Sustainable Energy Services Agreement (SESA) Providers