News

Read the latest updates from Bernhard.

Bernhard Leading Commissioning Service for Net-Zero Climate Innovation Center in Utah

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Utah Clean Energy, a nonprofit leader in climate solutions, announced last month the public phase of their capital campaign to build the “Climate Innovation Center” in downtown Salt Lake City with an announcement ceremony. Bernhard, the largest privately-owned Energy-as-a-Service company in the United States, is providing an in-kind commissioning service for this net-zero office project. Bernhard’s Commissioning team provides an unbiased, objective view of the commissioned system’s installation, operation and performance ensuring that the facility and systems operate safely, reliably, and efficiently resulting in a healthy environment for all building occupants. When completed, the Climate Innovation Center will renovate a 70-plus-year-old building to become one of the city’s most high-performance, net-zero buildings.

“Bernhard, and previously ETC Group, has been a long-time partner of Utah Clean Energy and its net-zero vision from the very beginning,” says Glen Anderson, PE, Senior Vice President of Innovation at Bernhard. “We are excited to add our skill sets to Utah Clean Energy’s Climate Innovation Center. Commissioning is an essential step for this facility to run efficiently and to achieve net-zero.”

Energy used in our existing homes and buildings contributes up to 40% of U.S. energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, but those emissions can be drastically decreased by renovating building stock to be ultra-energy efficient. In addition to serving as the organization’s headquarters, the Climate Innovation Center will serve as a living laboratory that will educate the public and the business community about the tremendous role that buildings have in solving our climate crisis, and the ways to renovate and build for a healthy climate. Beyond the standard Commissioning reviews, Bernhard will be providing energy suggestions for PV Solar and Battery, which will be crucial for Utah Clean Energy to achieve Zero Energy Certification.

The announcement event was highlighted by the filling of a time capsule by attendees, who were invited to add a note capturing their vision and hopes for a healthy future. The capsule will be opened 20 years later, in 2042, at which time future generations will have the opportunity to reflect on the progress made in mitigating climate change.

Bernhard Earns 2022 Engineering Excellence Award for Energy, Large Project Category from American Council of Engineering Companies of Arkansas

UAMS energy project selected as winning submission

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Bernhard was announced as the winner in the Energy, Large Project category at the American Council of Engineering Companies of Arkansas (ACEC) annual 2022 Engineering Excellence Awards (EEAs) celebration on March 31, 2022 at the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock. The winning project was the $150 million Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) with University of Arkansas Medical Sciences, the largest energy savings project in Arkansas, the largest in the academic and healthcare sector, and one of the largest in the United States.

“This honor recognizes our dedication, innovation and hard work in this monumental project,” said Tim Staley, president of engineering at Bernhard. “Working alongside the UAMS team, we’ve created a truly unique partnership, which has and will continue to bring energy savings on a macro scale.”

The EEAs recognize Arkansas engineering projects that demonstrate a high degree of achievement, value, and ingenuity, according to ACEC. Judged by a panel of industry professionals from around the state, projects were evaluated based on uniqueness, future value to the engineering profession, sustainable considerations, and successful fulfillment of the client’s needs.

“Our Arkansas engineers are highly skilled and integral to the success of our state,” said Angie Cooper, executive director of ACEC. “Projects like UAMS and Bernhard are key to creating sustainable and increasing growth in Arkansas.”

In July 2019, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) was given approval by the University of Arkansas System Trustees for a $150 million Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) that is administered through the Arkansas Energy Performance Contracting (AEPC) program and implemented by Bernhard.

Bernhard’s Ashley Brennan Named to CityBusiness 2021 Women of the Year List

Brennan recognized for innovative leadership and community impact

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New Orleans CityBusiness has named Bernhard’s Ashley Brennan to its 2021 Women of the Year list. A Louisiana native, Brennan serves as a project administrator at Metairie-based Bernhard, the largest privately-owned Energy-as-a-Service (“EaaS”) solutions company in the United States.

This annual list identifies and honors 50 outstanding women whose successes in business and contributions to the community have set the pace for the region’s future. According to New Orleans CityBusiness, Women of the Year honorees are “innovative leaders who are making waves with their energy, ideas, achievements and commitment to excellence in the area.”

“I am humbled to receive this honor,” said Brennan. “Improving and impacting the lives of others is an integral part of who I am. To have my hard work and community investment recognized in this way is touching and motivating. There is so much more we can do to make a change and the support of my employer and my community enables me to be a small part of this change.”

Volunteering and civic engagement is a major part of Brennan’s life. She has been involved with the Junior League of New Orleans since 2010 and while she has held various leadership positions throughout her League career, her most recent position was as Business Council Director on the Executive Board of Directors for the 2017-2018 League Year. She is also involved with Cabrini High School Alumnae Association, and is a recent graduate of the Class of 2021 and a Distinguished Fellow of the Nancy M. Marsiglia Institute of Justice, a program through the United Way of Southeast Louisiana and Loyola University’s College of Law. Brennan has been recognized for her civic and professional achievements through the March of Dimes Spotlight on Success, NORDC’s Women’s History Month Award, New Orleans City Business and the Class of 2018 Leadership Jefferson. Born in New Orleans, raised in Metairie and a product of Cabrini High School and the University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette. Brennan joined Bernhard in 2014 and has worked in various roles and departments through her seven years, currently serving as a project administrator.

“We are proud Ashley has received this recognition highlighting her commitment to continually going above and beyond to bettering her community,” said Travis Bernhard, Vice President of IS Delivery at Bernhard. “She has been a vital piece to our team and incredibly deserving of this honor.”

Nominations were accepted from the public and a selection committee utilized these nominations and independent research to make final selections. Honorees will be given the Women of the Year award at an event at the Hyatt Regency.

Midland Health earns 5th ENERGY STAR Certification since Bernhard Partnership; Outperforms 86% of Similar U.S. Buildings in Efficiency

Program identifies the most energy-efficient buildings based on latest government-backed standards

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Bernhard has announced that Midland Health has earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR® certification for superior energy performance. This is the 5th year that Midland Health has earned the ENERGY STAR certification since partnering with Bernhard to optimize energy efficiency.

Midland’s ENERGY STAR scores reflect continual growth and efficiency for their energy operations. In 2016, Midland received their first ENERGY STAR Certification with a score of 75. With an unwavering commitment to increasing their energy efficiency, Midland has now seen their overall score increase by 10 percentage points in just 6 years.

“Earning another ENERGY STAR certification despite these difficult times is a true testament to the continuous work of our employees,” said Abraham Bejil, Director of Engineering at Midland Health. “We are proud to be part of an organization that is able to earn this certification for the last 6 years that shows our commitment to doing our part to protect the environment and public health of our community.”

The ENERGY STAR certification program was created in 1992 to help businesses save energy and fight climate change. Today, every ENERGY STAR label is verified by a rigorous third-party certification process. ENERGY STAR is the only environmental program in the United States that certifies energy efficiency based on actual, verified energy performance and objective measures of performance, providing a guarantee of savings.

“Improving the energy efficiency of our nation’s buildings is critical to protecting our environment,” said Jean Lupinacci, Chief of the ENERGY STAR Commercial & Industrial Branch. “From the boiler room to the board room, organizations are leading the way by making their buildings more efficient and earning EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification.”

Bernhard’s storied history with Midland has given their team a unique perspective on Midland’s energy infrastructure and allowed for continued success utilizing their cutting-edge delivery methods to boost the facility’s energy efficiency year after year. Midland has trusted Bernhard with more than 25 projects over the last 10 years. The latest project, a 15-year Energy-as-a-Service project that provides $19M in infrastructure improvements and more than $664,000 in energy savings annually.

“Fulfilling the promises we make to our customers is something we take tremendous pride in,” said Rob Guthrie, Bernhard Chief Development Officer. “We take their trust very seriously and deploy everything our team of experts has to better a facility for future generations. The 2021 Midland certification is something to celebrate, and we’re looking forward to helping the hospital achieve an even higher score in 2022.”

To date, tens of thousands of buildings and plants across all fifty states have earned the ENERGY STAR. For more information about ENERGY STAR for Buildings and Plants, visit www.energystar.gov/buildings

CenTrio and Bernhard to promote reliability, operational efficiency, and sustainability at LSU under a 30-year public-private-partnership

The P3 deal will create more than $90 million in energy savings

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Bernhard and CenTrio reached financial close with the Louisiana State University (LSU) Board of Supervisors to modernize the utility systems at the University’s main campus in Baton Rouge. The 30-year partnership is expected to generate substantial energy and operational savings for LSU while promoting sustainability, reliability and efficiency of utility systems campus-wide.

Tiger Energy Partners (TEP), a joint venture between Bernhard and Johnson Controls, will design and construct the initial modernization solutions of LSU’s central power production, steam and chilled water plants. CenTrio, as the concessionaire, will fund the modernization in addition to operating and maintaining LSU’s utility systems for the next 30 years. CenTrio will have the opportunity to perform and invest into additional capital improvements to the utility system needed to accommodate campus growth and address capital renewal and deferred maintenance. TEP will have the opportunity to design, build, and finance future building mechanical system upgrades on the Baton Rouge campus.

“We are thrilled to begin this modernization project at the Baton Rouge campus,” CenTrio’s Chief Operating Officer Doug Castleberry said. “CenTrio looks forward to making the Baton Rouge campus more resilient, efficient, and sustainable. By investing in university campuses, we are not only helping with their immediate energy infrastructure needs but also allowing them to focus capital and other resources on their core mission of education and research.”

“Perhaps the most rewarding part of moving forward with this project is knowing we are increasing local job creation and creating a positive impact for the local economy,” said Ed Tinsley, Bernhard’s Chief Executive Officer. “Bernhard was founded in Baton Rouge more than 100 years ago and this partnership highlights our unwavering dedication to Louisiana now, and for future generations to come.”

CenTrio, a leading utility public-private partnership (P3) developer, investor, and operator that develops, manages and operates critical energy infrastructures serving more than 400 buildings in urban centers, universities, and hospitals across the United States with a focus on reliability, energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. In October 2020, CenTrio established a similar partnership with Syracuse University to modernize its utility system infrastructure under a 40-year public-private-partnership.

Bernhard has had a presence in Louisiana since 1919, completing more than 400 projects for LSU during that time span, including the design and construction of LSU’s existing combined heating and power system. In addition to its LSU experience and Louisiana headquarters, Bernhard also operates and maintains over 100,000 tons of cooling in markets throughout the Southeast, including the on-going operation and maintenance of the energy plants at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center and the Shaw Center for the Arts in Baton Rouge.

CenTrio also has strong ties to New Orleans and the State of Louisiana. The company began operating in New Orleans in 2000, providing thermal energy and backup generation services to Louisiana State University’s Health Sciences Center. The company has since spent over $100 million modernizing the facility, expanded to serve other customers in the city, and invested another $200 million in the local economy.

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Bernhard Announces Acquisition of ETC Group; Further Advancing Technological Operations

ETC Group brings expertise in navigating complex buildings

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Bernhard, the largest privately-owned Energy-as-a-Service company in the United States, announced this week the completion of its acquisition of ETC Group, LLC, which includes software subsidiary companies BuildingFit and GrowFit Analytics. ETC Group is a leader in energy efficiency and commissioning that has provided services to reduce building energy waste, reduce operational costs, and create healthy and comfortable environments to patients and tenants for more than 30 years.

“Along with decades of success, ETC Group brings to Bernhard a highly qualified team with a unique skillset that has pushed the boundaries of what’s possible through technology in our industry,” said Tim Staley, president of engineering at Bernhard. “They have proven to be trendsetters, innovators, and changed the landscape of how facilities use technology to achieve more energy efficiency.”

Bernhard’s acquisition provides support and resources that will bolster ETC’s continued growth. Based in Utah with offices in Arizona and Nevada, ETC Group prides itself in delivering innovative solutions to complex engineering problems and for implementing leading-edge data analytics techniques. With the acquisition, Bernhard will expand its national presence and nearly double their software development capabilities.

ETC Group and Bernhard have enjoyed a working relationship during the last three years, which has seen collaboration on multiple projects in the United States. This past relationship highlights shared core values and a passion in finding the best solutions to guide facilities on their energy-saving journey.

Bernhard has provided solutions to its customers’ energy and infrastructure needs for more than 100 years before shifting its focus in 2014 to becoming a leading Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) provider. To date, Bernhard has closed 15 EaaS transactions, including the largest EaaS healthcare concession in U.S. history and has more than $750 million in total EaaS financed investments over the past four years.

“This opportunity is made possible because of the incredibly talented employees that have made ETC Group the company that it is today,” said Spencer Shaffer, ETC Group CEO. “We are thrilled at the opportunity to join the Bernhard family and for our clients to now receive not the same, but heightened levels of results we have been trusted to provide for 34 years.”

Claudia M. Meer Joins Bernhard Board of Directors

Leading Energy-as-a-Service executive joins Bernhard’s strategic team

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Bernhard, the largest privately-owned, Energy-as-a-Service (“EaaS”) company in the United States, welcomes Claudia Meer to its board of directors. Ms. Meer joins a board composed of Ed Tinsley, Bernhard’s CEO, and members of DIF Capital Partners (“DIF”), Bernhard’s majority owner, through its DIF Infrastructure VI fund.

Based in the Washington, D.C. area, Ms. Meer brings a wealth of rich executive and board-level experience in the EaaS space. Ms. Meer formerly served as Chief Investment Officer and CFO, of AlphaStruxure, an EaaS joint venture between The Carlyle Group and Schneider Electric, formed to develop and fund clean energy infrastructure. Prior to AlphaStruxure, Ms. Meer was the CEO of Dalkia U.S. and ran the public-private partnership and clean energy development and investment groups at Clark Construction.

“Claudia’s industry leading expertise driving the realization of organic and inorganic growth strategies in Energy-as-a-Service companies will be an invaluable asset to Bernhard.” said Tinsley. “Ms. Meer will be an instrumental resource as Bernhard embarks on its next chapter of growth and expands its focus on distributed generation technologies to support its customers.”

“It is an honor to be working with one of the best teams in the EaaS industry as Bernhard continues to set the standard in energy services,” said Ms. Meer. “This group is strategic, thoughtful and focused on the future for its clients and for ESG services and is continuously seeking innovative and responsible solutions.”

Ms. Meer holds a Masters in International Finance and Management from Harvard University and a Bachelors in International Economics and Diplomatic History from the University of Pennsylvania. She actively volunteers in advisory capacities with The Penn Fund Executive Board, Maryland Clean Energy Center, and Boost Innovation Company.

Tulane University and Bernhard Announce Partnership to Optimize Energy Infrastructure and Improve Resiliency

Project significantly reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions and bolsters reliability of campus infrastructure

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Bernhard and Tulane University announced this week a 30-year Energy-as-a-Service partnership that includes large-scale and immediate improvements to campus infrastructure and the construction of a 1-megawatt solar generation facility that will produce 10% of the university’s total electricity needs at its uptown campus. The upfront improvements are expected to significantly reduce Tulane’s cumulative annual Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions with the ultimate goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050.

Drawing inspiration from the concerted sustainability efforts of Tulane and Bernhard, Project RISE (Renew, Innovate, Sustain, Engage) addresses significant capital renewal, sustainability and energy optimization priorities across Tulane’s uptown and downtown campuses. Through the innovative partnership, Tulane will accelerate the delivery of campus upgrades that will increase the resiliency and reliability of critical infrastructure on Tulane’s campuses. Bernhard is also guaranteeing significant annual utility cost savings over the length of the agreement, a commitment that includes bringing one or more Tulane buildings to certified Net Zero Energy status by 2025.

“This partnership is a major step forward in Tulane’s continued commitment to environmental sustainability. Through it we will significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions as we journey toward a carbon neutral future that also fully supports our critical research and educational missions,” Tulane President Michael Fitts said. “By increasing efficiency, building resilience and seeking alternative energy sources, the Bernhard and Tulane partnership is expected to also achieve the goal of a 30% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2025 as outlined in Tulane’s Climate Action Plan.”

“We see this partnership with Tulane as not only beneficial for their campus, but the entire state of Louisiana,” said Ed Tinsley, Bernhard CEO. “Tulane and Bernhard’s efforts in creating a more sustainable and resilient future with optimized energy usage and reduced carbon profile will have a positive ripple effect throughout the region.”

Being located in one of the world’s most active hurricane zones has granted Tulane University a unique perspective on the necessity of a reliable power supply. “Lack of consistent power during a weather event or local infrastructure failure can be detrimental to operations, academic instruction and the student experience and may cause catastrophic loss of research materials and specimens,” said Patrick Norton, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Tulane. “With Bernhard, we have made a commitment to strengthen Tulane’s infrastructure on both the downtown and uptown campuses in a financially and environmentally responsible way.”

At commencement of the partnership, Tulane will transfer the risk of energy operations and maintenance to Bernhard. Bernhard’s team will immediately design and upgrade campus energy infrastructure including lighting, combined heat and power, standby electrical power, building automation, heating water, steam, and domestic and chilled water. Monitoring of asset performance and measurement and verification of energy savings throughout the project will be provided through Bernhard Connect™.

“We are proud to partner with Tulane to upgrade its energy infrastructure and to assist the university in reaching its goal of 30% emission reduction by 2025 and carbon neutrality by 2050,” said Rob Guthrie, Bernhard’s Chief Development Officer. “Project RISE not only provides the university with long-term operational certainty over the next three decades, but also insulates Tulane from natural disasters. The unique combination of distributed generation and energy efficiency strategies will reduce the university’s peak electrical grid demand by nearly 50%.”

The university was supported in the transaction by a group of advisors, including Ernst & Young Infrastructure Advisors, LLC (EYIA) as lead. Other supporting advisors included Baker-Donelson, LLP, McGuire-Woods, LLP, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, and RMF Engineering, Inc.

Bernhard Eclipses $135,000 towards Lymphoma and Leukemia Research with 6th Annual Light The Night Golf Tournament

Donations Fund Lifesaving Research by Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

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Bernhard’s 6th annual Light The Night golf tournament was held on Monday, Oct. 25 and all funds raised at the event were donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. During the tenure of the tournament, Bernhard has raised more than $135,000 for cancer research.

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society is the largest nonprofit dedicated to blood cancer research in the United States and is the largest funder of cutting-edge research to advance cures. They have invested nearly $1.3 billion in research, leading the nation in advancing breakthroughs in immunotherapy, genomics and personalized medicine.

“We all want to see an end to cancer,” said Ralph Stingo, business unit manager at Bernhard’s Raleigh, N.C. office. “Light The Night is our largest community experience where we partner with companies to bring light to the darkness of cancer and raise funds for our mission.”

Light The Night is a series of fundraising campaigns across the United States funding of research for blood cancer cures. Bernhard continues to support Light The Night by hosting its annual golf tournament and accepting monetary donations to support patients, survivors and their families. This year’s tournament was held at Hasentree Country Club in North Carolina, where over $29,000 was raised.

“Bernhard believes in nurturing strong community contributions and serving surrounding communities as if they are one of our most cherished customers – because they are,” said Alyssa Jaksich, vice president of environmental, social and governance at Bernhard.

Stingo has been a part of the Executive Committee for the North Carolina Lymphoma and Leukemia Society for five years, and leads a team with fellow Bernhard team members each year to manage the logistics of the golf tournament.

“Our mission begins and ends with the ever-powerful word: cure,” said Stingo. “We are focused on curing blood cancers through our three pillars of research, patient access and advocacy.”

Melissa Samuel Named to Ragan’s 2021 Top Women in Wellness & HR

Louisiana local recognized for expertise in strategic human resource management

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Ragan Communications announced that Melissa Samuel, chief legal officer at Bernhard, has been named to its 2021 Ragan’s Top Women in Wellness and Human Resources list. Leading the HR team at the largest privately-owned Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) company in the United States, Samuel has been recognized for her expertise in strategic human resource management.

Ragan’s Top Women in Wellness and HR are defined as those leading the charge when it comes to employee health (financial, mental, physical and social), performance management, diversity and inclusion, organizational development, talent recruitment and retention, compensation and benefits, human resources information systems, training and development, coaching and corporate leadership.

“Melissa’s expertise has been indispensable as we continue to innovate our services and experience growth,” said Jim Sabin, COO of Bernhard. “She has been a vital piece in our recruitment and retention of the best talent in the industry. We are proud she has received such prestigious recognition for her commitment to creating a better workplace and doing what she champions in all aspects of her life: investing in people.”

Samuel works to build bridges between internal communications, external communications and marketing, legal, HR and the executive leadership team at Bernhard. With Samuel’s counsel, Bernhard has seen a 75% reduction in annual spend on professional placement firms and a more than 40% reduction in its use of third-party labor. Samuel effectively improved the company’s bottom line by avoiding placement fees and vendor markup, while investing in individuals at all levels and rewarding longevity.

“As the largest privately-owned EaaS company in the country, we believe maintaining a strategic human resource department is imperative to fueling our growth,” said Samuel. “I’m thrilled to be named to Ragan’s 2021 Top Women in Wellness & HR as we continue to look for new opportunities to grow and sustain our company’s talent while also evolving our company culture to better serve our clients.”

With more than 25 years of legal experience and more than 13 years of experience in the engineering and construction industry, Samuel is focused on strong partnerships with operations to find optimal and sustained solutions. Prior to joining Bernhard, Samuel served as senior vice president for H&E Equipment Services overseeing HR, legal and safety, and as vice president and associate general counsel for The Shaw Group, Inc.