South Suburban Saves $432,000 in First Year of Energy Project
First Year of Energy Project – Exceeds Expectations by $29,000!
District-wide energy upgrades, energy awareness initiatives saved more than $432,000 in annual utility and operational savings in the first year
South Suburban Park and Recreation District (SSPRD) and McKinstry partnered on an energy performance contract in 2013 to implement over $5.7 million in energy retrofits, capital improvements and other upgrades to reduce the District’s utility expenses and carbon footprint.
The energy project included:
- LED lighting retrofits across the District
- Heating, ventilation and cooling unit replacements (HVAC)
- Upgrading to energy efficient boilers
- Water conservation measures
- Building controls & energy management system
- Energy/water optimization & engagement program
- Community solar garden
- Ice rink chiller controls upgrade
These measures have significantly lowered energy use overall, and in some buildings, by up to 50%. In addition, SSPRD purchased 725 solar panels in two local solar gardens to further offset the District’s energy use. To date, these solar panels are also exceeding annual expected savings by more than $10,000 annually for a total cost savings of $91,000 per year.
“These upgrades not only help South Suburban Park and Recreation District stretch its energy dollars, but will provide a healthier, more comfortable environment for staff and patrons for years to come,” said Chris Larocque, McKinstry’s energy vice president.
As part of this project, McKinstry and SSPRD’s Sustainability Committee have been engaging SSPRD staff through McKinstry’s powerED program. The behavior-focused program is aimed at generating awareness about how their actions influence energy efficiency. It also offers online and offline sustainability activities. Now in the third year of a three-year program, more than 100 SSPRD employees have signed up for powerED’s online People.Power.Planet campaign, where activities range from a “sustainable selfie” challenge, to a tour of a recycling facility, to a printer consolidation challenge.
Other powerED highlights include adjusting guest and conference room thermostats at Lone Tree Golf Club & Hotel (allowing for additional energy savings while maintaining guests’ comfort), and making sure that equipment is optimized and schedules are adjusted to maximize energy savings.
The current powerED dashboard is shown below with Family Sports Dome leading percent total savings at 60%.