Performance Contract to Save Rhode Island Energy and Building Operations Costs
The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (RIOER) expects to save the state’s
residents the equivalent of more than $11 million in energy and related building
operating costs under a performance contract.
#34;Under our agreement we now have a long-term, budget-neutral solution
for improving the comfort and energy efficiency of three of our government buildings,
while reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the process,#34; said Andrew Dzykewicz,
chief advisor to the governor on energy for the state. #34;We are going forward
with similar projects for the rest of the state as well. We urge all municipal
governments, as well as institutions and industry, to look at this approach
for their facilities. The Office of Energy Resources stands ready to help any
other entity in the state to follow this example.#34;
The 14-year, performance-based contract is with Siemens Building Technologies,
Siemens already has begun to upgrade and retrofit critical heating, ventilation,
and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in the government’s administration
buildings, including the 104,000-sq.-ft. Cannon Building housing the Rhode Island
Department of Health, the 233,000-sq.-ft. Powers Building housing the taxation
and energy departments, and the 68,000-sq.-ft. Chapin Health Lab that houses
the Rhode Island Department of Health Lab. Plans call for the replacement of
aging, inefficient boilers and chillers with newer, more energy-efficient and
environmentally efficient units. Retrofits and upgrades also include the installation
of energy and water conservation measures, such as new digital HVAC controls,
low-energy consumption lighting, high-efficiency motors and drives, building
envelope improvements, a lighting control system, and other energy conserving
All facility improvements are scheduled to be completed by spring 2008. Once
completed, annual energy savings are anticipated to reach 1,892,090 kw.-hrs.
of electricity and 108,122 therms of natural gas. According to Siemens, over
the 14-year period of the contract the project will reduce emissions of typical
greenhouse gases (CO2, NOX and SO2) by more than 27 million lbs. and save the
equivalent of 77,000 barrels of crude oil. Similarly, the positive environmental
impact of this project is equivalent to eliminating more than 5,000 cars from
the road or planting 7,000 trees per year.
To further reduce utility costs, installation of occupancy and other sensors
will automatically turn off, on, or adjust indoor and outdoor lighting depending
on the amount of daylight present and the number of people occupying the space.
New energy management systems also are planned that will more accurately monitor
facility energy usage and help facility managers negotiate better energy rates
with the state’s utilities and coordinate the operation of large building
equipment during off-peak hours when lower-cost electricity is available.
Although the system upgrades and facility improvement measures are valued at
more than $6 million, the performance contract allows Rhode Island to finance
the project’s costs over a 14-year period via the savings achieved through
reduced energy consumption and better operational efficiencies. Based on current
and projected energy prices, Siemens guarantees the equivalent of more than
$525,000 in avoided energy costs annually.
#34;Performance contracting allows states to improve the energy and operational
efficiency of their facilities without having to fund the improvements through
new taxes or capital expenditures,#34; said Siemens Manager Dave Seraikas.