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Texas A&M To Save $1.1 Million Annually Through Efficiency Upgrades

Texas A&M and Siemens have entered a $15.1 million performance contract guaranteed to save the university $1.1 million dollars in annual energy and operational costs.

A performance contract allows an institution to make efficiency upgrades and pay for the cost with guaranteed annual energy savings.

The two-phase project is being funded by two low interest loans made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and administered by the Texas State Energy Conservation Office.

Jim Riley, director for utilities and energy management at Texas A&M University, said, "The combination of performance contracting and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) enables the university to get these projects started now and more quickly achieve efficiency improvements."

Phase I, funded by a $10 million dollar loan, began in January and includes upgrades and retrofits to 24 campus facilities, including:

  • Optimization of the building automation system;
  • Better control of HVAC systems;
  • Installation of occupancy sensors;
  • Mechanical system improvements in 17 buildings; and
  • New lighting technologies in some buildings and in all five campus parking garages.

The $1.1 million in annual efficiency savings from Phase I improvements is guaranteed by Siemens for 10 years.

According to ARRA guidelines, the construction must be completed by December 2011, use American-made products whenever possible, and submit quarterly reports to SECO.

Phase II began shortly after Phase I and includes similar work to seven additional buildings. It is being funded with a $5.1 million loan, and is guaranteed to save $500,000 per year.

Since 2002 Texas A&M's College Station campus has reduced energy consumption by 35 percent while increasing the area served by 18 percent. Water consumption has also been reduced by 33 percent since 2000.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].

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