Saving energy is a goal for most building owners. It's one reason why many turn to the likes of building automation systems to help them reach that goal. Then again, some turn to the "big boys."

In the case of the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), it is relying on the experience of Siemens Building Technologies to save its department more than $6 million in energy and operational costs under the terms of a 15-year performance contract.

The MDOC is the first state agency in Mississippi to enter into a performance contract. Such agreements typically allow a customer to purchase a systems upgrade and/or service that pays for itself over time, with no upfront costs. The savings in energy and operating costs fund the building improvements and financing costs over a specified term, and the savings are guaranteed on an annual basis.

Siemens said it will provide the MDOC with a comprehensive energy and water management program that guarantees energy and operational savings estimated to be $430,000 per year at current energy prices.

"This joint partnership will serve as a representation for how other state departments throughout Mississippi might achieve an efficient and effective operation of their facilities," said MDOC Commissioner Chris Epps.

"MDOC is excited about joining Siemens in this energy and cost-savings plan. I look forward to a long, productive association with the company."

The program, which began in May, will take eight months to complete. It will involve upgrading existing lighting to higher-efficiency lighting in three state prisons (Mississippi State Penitentiary, Central Mississippi Correctional Facility, and South Mississippi Correctional Institute), 17 community work centers, and three restitution centers. The higher-efficiency lighting in these facilities will consume 42 percent less energy, according to Siemens.

Siemens said it will also install an energy management control system to improve the efficiency of heating, ventilation, and climate control equipment in the three state prisons, along with an Ozone Re-Circulating Laundry System, designed to provide significant reductions in both hot water and total water usage.

In addition, Siemens said it will replace an old 80-ton chiller with a new one at the South Mississippi Correctional Institute. The replacement of older mechanical equipment with new, more-efficient equipment, will not only save energy, it will also reduce maintenance costs, said the company.

"This venture will result in operational savings that by far exceed the installation cost associated with it, in addition to its continuing maintenance and support costs," said commissioner Epps.

Going For E2

In the case of ExxonMobil, it turned to Emerson Climate Technologies to deliver savings in annual energy and maintenance expenses at its retail locations across the United States. ExxonMobil has confirmed it is currently experiencing a 10 percent reduction in electrical expenses at stores equipped with Emerson's E2 Facility Management System.

"We have been able to get a detailed view of our energy usage and achieve efficiency levels that we would not have thought of," said Dimitris Anagnostopoulos, global engineering advisor for ExxonMobil Fuels Marketing. "At our current savings rate, the average payback period on the E2 Facility Management System is less than two years."

The E2 is designed and manufactured by Computer Process Controls, a part of Emerson. The E2 is currently installed in 600 ExxonMobil stores worldwide, with plans to continue the installation of facility management systems in new and existing stores throughout the convenience store chain, said ExxonMobil.

Tim Willingham, director of business development for Computer Process Controls, noted that the energy savings ExxonMobil has experienced total $1.5 million annually, nationwide.

"By installing the E2, we were able to work with ExxonMobil to optimize energy-efficiency strategies, reducing annual energy costs in a typical store by an average of $3,050," he said.

According to Emerson, its E2 Facility Management System provides ExxonMobil:

1. Reduced maintenance costs. According to Emerson, maintenance personnel are able to identify system failures quickly and accurately. It said its unified platform makes equipment troubleshooting more accurate by providing real-time and historical data for evaluation

2. Indoor environment control. The E2 controls each store's heating and cooling systems based on actual indoor and outdoor temperatures, designed to further reduce energy consumption and maintain comfortable indoor levels. It is also able to keep refrigeration units and cooking equipment from working against one another by using better zone controls and algorithms that analyze each store as a whole, said Emerson.

3. New building design. Emerson has helped ExxonMobil to make future stores even more efficient and reliable. It has recommended some design changes, all created to reduce store construction cost.

Sidebar: Controller BACnet Approved

Siemens Building Technologies noted that its Apogee® building automation system variable air volume (VAV) Terminal Equipment Controller (TEC) recently received BACnet Testing Laboratories (BTL) listing.

BTL, which is a part of the BACnet Manufacturers Association (BMA), offers a product testing and listing program to certify that products have BACnet capability. The BTL's authorized test laboratories test the BACnet functionality of a product to a set of requirements developed by BTL and based on ASHRAE Standard 135.IP.

"The BTL listing just reaffirms our already proven BACnet interoperability," said Kevin Osburn, vice president, product development. "The ability to tightly integrate and communicate with both legacy and open protocols is a customer priority."

According to Siemens, its Apogee TEC is designed to provide high performance direct digital control (DDC) of pressure-independent, variable-air volume zone-level routines. It said the controller can operate either as a stand-alone unit or networked to perform HVAC control, monitoring, and energy management functions.

Publication date: 09/26/2005