On the road to savings
Last year, after suffering through too many winter days with a malfunctioning boiler, Jackson County, Mich., Road Commission officials decided to find a replacement. “Our furnace was 30 years old, and it would cut out frequently, which was especially problematic in the middle of winter when we were left with a cold, uncomfortable building,” says Laure Fiero, the commission’s former director of administration. “Instead of making repeat service calls, we needed a new boiler.”
Commission officials called on their maintenance provider, Minneapolis-based Honeywell Building Solutions, to fix the problem. Through an engineering site analysis of the commission’s facilities — including its administration building, sign shop, and maintenance and truck garages — the company identified improvements that would save enough energy and maintenance costs over 10 years to finance a new boiler and additional facility upgrades without any initial capital investment.
New garage temperature controls were installed and repairs were made to the administration building’s weather stripping on exterior doors and sealing on the building’s roof. The company also replaced the garages’ metal halide fixtures with fluorescent lamps, high-output electronic ballasts and clear lenses. High-efficiency ballasts also were installed in administrative offices, lounges and conference rooms. “Previously, garage lighting was so dim that drivers might have been better off working on their trucks outside,” Fiero says. “Now, it’s much easier for them to see when they’re working on things like changing plow blades and checking fluid levels.”
The company provides preventive maintenance for the new equipment, emergency services, equipment component replacements and a service support system that monitors the commission’s facility and equipment status. If a failure occurs, a service technician is dispatched to the site.
Since the upgrades were completed in December, the commission already is saving money, and staff members are more aware of their role in saving energy, making sure exterior doors are completely shut and turning off unused lights. Combined, the facility upgrades are expected to save the commission $38,000 per year.
Facility energy upgrades
Jackson County, Mich.
Minneapolis-based Honeywell Building Solutions