OVERLAND PARK, KS — CMS Energy Corporation’s energy performance contracting unit, CMS Viron Energy Services, announced that it has completed a project valued at over $3 million to install energy saving equipment and systems for the Physicians Mutual Insurance Company in Omaha, NE.

CMS Viron installed energy-efficient chillers and boilers at the insurance company’s offices that will provide energy savings of almost $335,000 annually. The equipment includes three 300-ton chillers, six gas-fueled low-pressure steam boilers, and a direct digital control system with 800 points of control. As part of the project, a backup power supply system has also been installed.

Energy performance contractors provide energy savings through engineering analysis, the installation of more energy-efficient equipment, performance monitoring of the savings, and sometimes commodity management contracts.

“The Physicians Mutual building is very attractive, and we were concerned about not spoiling the appearance,” said Greg Overfield, director of facilities. To avoid changing the appearance of the existing building, Physicians Mutual initially was considering constructing another building to house the new equipment. “CMS Viron’s engineers worked with Physicians Mutual staff developing a plan to locate the new equipment in the space freed up by the removal of the old systems,” Overfield noted.

“This was not your typical performance contract; it was more of a primary construction contract,” said Ken Hedrick, regional sales manager with CMS Viron. “The customer was looking for an alternative to building a new facility. After investigating the existing space, we discovered we could locate the new equipment in the basement and avoid the high cost of new construction. CMS Viron engineers put together a design-build project using local contractors to implement the construction.”

The opportunity to provide energy services to the Physicians Mutual Insurance Company was developed by a partnership that CMS Viron has with the Omaha Public Power District. The energy savings projects for the district’s customers have employed traditional technologies as well as newer technologies such as geothermal heat pumps.

Publication date: 05/13/2002