James River Air Conditioning helped the Children’s Museum of Richmond slash its electric and gas utility usage.

RICHMOND, Va. - With help from James River Air Conditioning, the Children’s Museum of Richmond has substantially reduced its utility usage implementing the contractor’s Practical Green® solutions - a combination of preventive maintenance and retro-commissioning - designed to reduce operating costs and extend HVAC equipment useful life.

The Children’s Museum of Richmond is focused on young children, learning, exploring, and nurturing the curiosity every child possesses. Creating an environment that contributes to these goals is what the museum asked James River Air Conditioning to do; that, and helping it lasso skyrocketing utility expenses. James River responded with smart diagnostics, smart automated temperature control, and smart ongoing energy audits. This, coupled with comprehensive preventive maintenance, has reduced electrical consumption 50 percent at the museum. In addition, gas usage dropped more than 70 percent with the James River approach to energy and comfort solutions.

Museum President and CEO Karen Coltrane said, “Our utility usage had increased to the point where it took almost 2,000 admission-paying visitors each month just to cover the electric and gas bills. We were actually considering cutting staff and programs for children so we could pay the growing utility expenses. Thankfully, James River Air identified our opportunities for saving and we have had tremendous results. Now, more of our resources can go to serving our mission.”

Over 230,000 people visit the Children’s Museum of Richmond each year. It primarily caters to children 8 years of age and under.

James River Air notes that the most cost-effective actions that building owners and tenants can take are to enroll in a comprehensive preventive maintenance program and to implement an aggressive retro-commissioning strategy to ensure operational efficiency remains as designed and like new. Every major manufacturer, as well as every utility company, recommends regular inspections of the HVAC mechanical system to achieve the intended life cycle and peak performance. Historical data shows that these services will extend equipment life, decrease emergency repair events, and control the costs/extent of these repairs and equipment failure. James River calls this combination of preventive maintenance with retro-commissioning Practical Green.

The company says that its customers have regularly realized utility savings of 15 to 30 percent. Savings may be equal to or greater than the annual maintenance agreement cost, and at the same time offer significant extension of equipment usability and lifespan.

For more information, visit www.jamesriverair.com.

Publication date:11/23/2009