High Profile Project Sets an Exellent Example; Others Follow

Published in Business Energy, July-August 2015, pp. 22-23

Retro-Tech Systems and RTS Water Solutions provided a large lighting, electrical, and water project for the US Department of State, located in our national capital of Washington DC, as a partner with a National Energy Service Company. The contract encompassed over 3.3 million square feet within several Federal Buildings, including the Harry S. Truman Building, the National Foreign Affairs Training Center, the ICC Building, the Beltsville Information Management Center, and the Blair House.

Special emphases were placed on the project, which included lighting design, measurement and verification, and security expectations. This high profile project also happened to be at a very high security campus with significant historical requirements. The US Department of State leads US foreign affairs agency with offices for the Secretary of State, the President’s principal foreign policy adviser. The Department advances US objectives and interests in the world with its primary role of developing and implementing the President’s foreign policy.

As the nation’s single largest energy user, the government needs to not only conserve energy, but also invest in reduction measures that make good business sense. The goal of each project is to contribute to
operational efficiency, energy conservation, and modernization of existing equipment and technology. To achieve some of these objectives, government entities have established energy policies including EPACT 2005 and EISA 2007 to give guidance in achieving fully managed energy systems.

This states: “By October 1, 2012, in accordance with guidelines established by the Secretary under paragraph (2), all Federal buildings shall, for the purpose of efficient use of energy and reduction in the cost of electricity used in such buildings, be metered.”

The lighting solution, in this case, as part of the overall project, included energy-efficient lighting upgrades with occupancy controls and sensors.

RTS also completed a metering project within seven buildings of the National Foreign Affair Training Center. The scope of this project included the installation of 28 E-Mon D-Mon Electrical Sub-metering Products and system re-wiring.

The sub-meters were installed to monitor a broad range of energy data. The data collected from each sub-meter will assist the US Department of State in capturing the delivered energy (kWh), real power (kW), apparent power (kVA), power factor (%), current load (A), and line-to-line voltage (V) for various systems such as HVAC, lighting, air handling, etc. within each building. Previously, the NFATC was master metered, and understanding each facilities efficiencies and/or inefficiencies were a challenge. The E-Mon D-Mon sub-meters will allow for better-managed facilities based on real time data.

The results show that these newly installed meters enabled clients to measure entire buildings, individual tenants or areas, specific pieces of equipment or individual circuits quickly and accurately. These meters are used for whole building metering, tenant/departmental cost allocation, measurement and verification, energy management and analysis, benchmarking, and profiling, as well as building automation system integration.

Even though—as one of the interviewees here commented—some states, recently, are actually decreasing their support through legislative efforts of energy efficiency as a viable goal, federal and private entities
continue to take advantage of what ESCOs can offer. Melissa Atkins, Chief Executive Officer, Graham County Hospital, Hill City, KS, comments on the work of their ESCO, Energy Solutions Professionals: “The fact that we can address so many areas of need by leveraging our utility savings really made this a key opportunity to improve our facilities. We’re excited to be starting this project.”

Steven C. Sharek, Superintendent-Director, Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School, Fitchburg, MA, found that their Trane upgrades, “helped us meet our most important goal, educating students, by creating a better learning environment for students and a better teaching environment for faculty and staff.”

“Sustainability is a vital concern at the University of Arkansas,” adds David Gearhart, Chancellor, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. “Our goal to be a carbon neutral institution by the year 2040. The work that Energy Systems Group has done on our campus is an important step toward helping us reach this goal. The Razors EDGE project has truly given us an edge.”

What better way of highlighting the importance of energy efficiency and savings for a city’s visitors and convention-goers than by making the convention center itself sustainable and LEED certified?

“Our Convention Center here in Knoxville, Tennessee, is committed to being a facility that takes the environmental impact of its operations seriously,” explains Mary Bogert, General Manager, Knoxville
Convention Center, Knoxville, TN.

“Our sustainable practices are intricately woven into our everyday operations. This LEED certification demonstrates commitment,” she says. “We are grateful to the City of Knoxville for placing high value on
sustainability and to the City of Knoxville Department of Sustainability and its energy contractor, Ameresco, for partnering with our staff to help achieve this goal.”