Like most county governments, the County of Kern is suffering from funding and budget issues, prohibiting any capital upgrades with normal budgetary funds. However, the mechanical equipment at Lerdo, including the chilled and domestic water systems, was long past its useful life expectancy, and mechanical failures were costing more money to repair each year. In addition, Lerdo had no EMS at all, so controlling energy usage by the mechanical systems was virtually impossible.
County officials contacted NORESCO of Sacramento to see if the energy services company could suggest ways to implement the desperately needed retrofits. NORESCO engineers formulated a plan by which Lerdo, the county's second largest energy consuming facility, could receive its upgrades and pay for the equipment through a performance contract.