South / Regional Reports

Energy Saving Measures Reduce City's Utility Costs

The city of Carrollton, Texas, experienced a 50 percent increase in energy costs over the past five years, culminating in utility charges of more than $80,000 each month. To reduce these costs, the city - a suburb of Dallas - contracted with TAC, a company involved in building automation, security systems, and energy solutions, to implement energy saving measures at several city facilities. Now complete, the $1.6 million project is expected to save Carrollton more than $200,000 per year in utility costs.

TAC, which is headquarted in Carrollton, installed new energy management systems (EMS) in six facilities, completed lighting retrofits in 11 facilities, and made mechanical system improvements, including chiller and cooling tower replacements.

"Air conditioning and heating in Carrollton's facilities represents 40 percent of the city's total utility costs," said Wesley McDaniel, vice president of TAC Energy Solutions. "The new EMS and new HVAC equipment alone have greatly reduced this cost, while the lighting improvements have provided further savings."

To balance comfort and energy savings, the city operates mechanical systems only when needed. In most city facilities Carrollton initiated fixed temperature set points using the EMS. Now thermostat air conditioning settings are maintained between 73 and 76°F, and heat settings are maintained between 68 and 72°.

"Based on the air conditioning industry rule of thumb that there is a 5 to 7 percent cost increase for heating or cooling per degree of set point adjustment; these minor changes to high and low settings make a significant difference," said McDaniel.

"For many city employees, this is a common-sense approach," said Beth Bormann, assistant city manager. "Many of us cope with high utility bills at home and we know firsthand the impact that very high or very low settings have on those bills."

"We know we won't please all employees," added facility services manager Carl Shelton. "But it is reasonable for us to maintain a comfortable range while simultaneously managing our costs."

Not only have these energy efficiency measures lowered total energy costs, but they have provided environmental benefits for Carrollton and the North Texas region. By decreasing the city's energy consumption, emissions from area power generating plants are also reduced.

"The energy saving measures cut annual carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 257 tons," said McDaniel. "This is equivalent to taking 366 cars off the streets of Carrollton each year or planting 497 acres of trees."

Publication date: 11/20/2006

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

2014 World Energy Engineering Congress

Scenes from the 2014 World Energy Engineering Congress in Washington, D.C.


NEWSMakers: John Lanier

John Lanier of North American Technician Excellence (NATE) stops by the NEWS’ booth at the AHR Expo to discuss NATE’s presence at the show, what’s coming up in 2015, and much more. Posted on Feb. 20.

More Podcasts


NEWS 02-23-15 cover

2015 February 23

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Mobile Workforce

Mobile devices and field management software are spreading in the HVAC industry. Are you utilizing this technology?
View Results Poll Archive


2015 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research


Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Magazine image
Register today for complete access to Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.


facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con