South / Regional Reports

Texas School District Upgrades Facilities

March 16, 2009
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The Red Oak Independent School District (ROISD) in Red Oak, Texas, is implementing $2,499,420 in facility enhancements designed to improve operations, comfort, and efficiency at 10 district buildings totaling more than 855,000 square feet. The Energy Solutions division of TAC will complete the work as a performance contract with the district. TAC guarantees that ROISD will reduce its utility costs by more than $264,000 annually when the project is completed in the fall of 2009.

As the Red Oak ISD, located south of Dallas and serving more than 5,000 students, worked through projects on its latest bond program, it became apparent that the approved funds may not be enough to cover all the district’s needs. Furthermore, a recent consultation with the district’s electric utility provider indicated that the district could expect a substantial increase in energy charges with the next rate negotiation.

“The energy savings project with TAC allows us to make needed improvements, such as installing high efficiency classroom lighting and a centralized energy management system (EMS), as well as implement other energy saving projects, without depleting our bond funds,” said John Humphrey, assistant superintendent of Business and Finance, ROISD. “The increased efficiency will also be a cushion against future utility rate increases since we will be using less energy.”

Performance contracting offers many long-term benefits for school districts, says TAC, such as improved facility efficiency, occupant comfort, financial management, and environmental protection. Typically, new, more efficient equipment and upgraded facility automation systems maximize energy efficiency and generate utility savings. TAC guarantees the amount of savings performance contracting projects will achieve and agrees to pay the difference if that amount is not realized.

Crucial components of the project are occupancy sensors that TAC will install throughout the schools. The sensors will turn off the lights when a room is not occupied and alert the energy management system to place the room on standby mode, so that less heating or cooling is required until the room is occupied again.

The new EMS system in the ROISD facilities will follow the BACnet® operational protocol, developed under the auspices of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Because it is based on this open protocol, the new EMS platform will be the standard going forward and will allow for integration and expansion in the future.

“In addition to utility savings, during the first year of the project the ROISD expects to free up over $550,000 to be put toward other bond projects and at the end of 15 years, energy savings will easily exceed $3.9 million,” said Shon Anderson, vice president of TAC Energy Solutions Sales. “Furthermore, the project will lower annual production of pollution and greenhouse gases, which includes reducing carbon emissions by 603 tons, CO2 emissions by 2,210 tons, SO2 emissions by 19 tons, and NOx emissions by 8 tons. This is comparable to planting 54,792 trees, reducing annual car miles driven by 4,449,669, or saving 222,483 gallons of gas per year.”

Publication date: 03/16/2009

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