Energy-Related Contracting with the US Government

Steptoe represents clients involved in energy-related contracting with the federal government. This includes contracts and cooperative agreements for energy-related services and energy conservation/efficiency projects; contracts for public utility services; and contracts for utility privatization.  Steptoe lawyers provide advice on legal and regulatory government contracts matters and assist clients on transactional matters.

Energy-Related Facilities Contracts

  • Federal Government Energy Savings/Cogeneration Plant Contract: We represented an electric utility and its unregulated affiliate in the successful negotiation of a contract to procure, build, operate and maintain a cogeneration plant on a federal installation that was entered into pursuant to the utility’s Energy Services Agreement. We negotiated back−to−back contracts with the government agencies and the principal equipment supplier/construction contractor and provided advice on applicable government contract requirements and compliance issues in connection with the negotiation of those agreements.
  • Our Energy Transactions practice has represented clients in electric power plant development projects and in the negotiation of power transmission and power purchase contracts. For additional information see our description of our Energy Transactions practice.  

Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPC)

We have advised clients on government contract and transactional issues related to DOE and DOD ESPC.

  • We have reviewed and provided legal advice on the terms of a DOD ESPC and on RFPs for DOE ESPCs, including advice on the interpretation and applicability of FAR clauses, subcontractor flowdowns, and on other government contract legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Working with lawyers from our Corporate, Securities and Finance practice, we prepared a partnership agreement between an electric utility client and an energy services contractor for the performance of DOD ESPC awarded to the partnership.
  • Steptoe’s Government Contracts and Corporate, Securities and Finance lawyers reviewed and advised a client on a joint venture agreement for a JV formed to pursue a DOE ESPC.
  • We advised a client on matters relating to a debriefing and possible bid protest in connection with a DOE ESCP.

Other Government Energy-Related Services Contracts

We have considerable experience advising clients on government contract issues and transactional matters in connection with public utility Energy Savings Contracts.

  • Government Contracts Advice: Advice on statutory, regulatory, and compliance considerations relating to energy savings contracts and delivery orders with various federal agencies, including competition requirements, contract pricing requirements, contract funding and fiscal law issues, assignments of contract payments, FAR and DFARS clauses, subcontractor flowdowns, and audits/access to records.
  • Third Party Financing: Review of requests for proposals and assistance in negotiation of contracts with financing institutions for third party financing of energy savings contracts with federal agencies.
  • GSA Areawide Agreements: Advice to electric utility clients on negotiation of energy savings contracting provisions of areawide agreements with GSA.

Other Energy-Related Government Contracts Experience

Washington Policy Advice: We have assisted clients in preparation and presentation of position papers on energy conservation and utility privatization contracts:

  • Preparation of White Paper for submission to executive branch officials on legal authority under the Energy Policy Act, the Federal Property & Administrative Services Act and applicable procurement regulations for proposed energy efficiency/savings contract related to for utility service in federal buildings.
  • Assisted in the development and presentation of positions to the DOD on the intersection of government procurement laws and regulations and state regulatory authority relating to provision of utility services in connection with a utility privatization RFP.

Utility Privatization: We have advised clients on government contract legal issues in RFPs for DOD utility privatization contracts.

Acquisitions: Steptoe lawyers have represented clients in the acquisition of energy-related services companies, including negotiation of an asset purchase agreement and advice on government contract due diligence and transitioning/novation issues.

Solar Power Industry: We have represented several companies in in the solar power industry.  Those representations have included the defense of a civil False Claims Act action, advice on country of origin requirements under the Trade Agreements Act and American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, and advice on small business size status issues and intellectual property rights under DOE R&D contracts.

Cooperative Agreements: We have advised recipients of cooperative agreements involving energy-related projects awarded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, including flow-down of terms and conditions to subrecipients and vendors, and compliance with regulatory requirements such as the Davis Bacon Act and the Buy American provisions of the ARRA.