The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (RIOER) expects to save state residents the equivalent of more than $11 million in energy and related building operating costs under a 14-year performance contract with Siemens Building Technologies, Inc.
“Under our agreement with Siemens 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,” said Andrew Dzykewicz, chief advisor to the Governor on Energy for the state. “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.”
Siemens has begun to upgrade and retrofit critical heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in the government’s administration buildings including the 104,000 square foot Cannon Building housing the Rhode Island Department of Health, the 233,000 square foot Powers Building housing the taxation and energy departments, and the 68,000 square foot Chapin Health Lab which 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 a new digital HVAC controls, low energy consumption lighting, high-efficiency motors and drives, building envelope improvements, a lighting control system, and other energy conserving measures. All facility improvements are scheduled to be completed by Spring 2008.
Once completed, annual energy savings are anticipated to reach 1,892,090 kilowatt hours 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 pounds* and save the equivalent of some 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, Siemens will install occupancy and other sensors that 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 are also planned which 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.
“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,” said Siemens Manager Dave Seraikas.
*Sylvania QuickAudit emissions calculator