EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Grace Church, a non-denominational congregation in Eden Prairie, Minn., is saving more than $100,000 annually in utility charges as a result of completing a recommissioning of its facility. The church partnered with a member firm of the InsideIQ™ Building Automation Alliance, an international alliance of independent building automation contractors, and Xcel Energy, the local utility, on the $182,000 project. Uhl Company Inc., based in Maple Grove, Minn., implemented several energy conservation measures in the church facility that save energy and qualified the church to earn utility rebates.

The Grace Church recommissioning study conducted by Uhl identified many opportunities to save energy in the 343,000-square-foot facility. Uhl also assisted the church to qualify for $38,000 in utility rebates from Xcel Energy to help cover the upfront costs of the project. By reducing energy usage more than 800,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, the payback period for the church will be less than eighteen months.

“InsideIQ member firms are dedicated to creating the best inside working environments for customers, whether installing a BAS [building automation system] or completing a comprehensive energy saving project,” said Mark Balent, president of InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance. “InsideIQ Members, like Uhl Company, offer advanced energy solutions that help customers achieve their conservation goals, such as lowering energy expenses and reducing environmental impacts.”

Energy efficiency enhancements Uhl implemented at Grace Church included reducing air handling unit (AHU) run hours to meet actual occupied times; resetting the supply air temperature for the AHUs; installing occupancy sensors on HVAC variable air volume (VAV) units to reduce the duct static pressure and control the speed of the air handlers; and lowering VAV airflow to match zone needs and reduce to minimum in unoccupied spaces.

“Commissioning is a systematic and documented process of ensuring that specific building systems perform interactively according to the design intent and the owner’s operational needs,” said Tim Ley, president, Uhl Company. “As Grace Church learned, even if a building is properly commissioned, changes in its use and operations over time typically lead to diminished building performance. In our experience, tuning up a building for peak efficiency with recommissioning consistently saves between five and 20 percent of building energy costs, while improving occupant comfort and operations.”

For more information on the Uhl Company, visit www.uhlcompany.com.

For more information on the InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance, visit www.insideiq.org.

Publication date: 10/21/2013

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