South Suburban Saves Big on the Environment with People.Power.Planet
Installation of a more efficient heat recovery unit at Goodson Recreation Center
In 2013, after identifying the need to upgrade some aging facilities, South Suburban selected McKinstry, a full-service design-build-operate and maintain (DBOM) firm, to perform a technical energy audit of 21 buildings under an energy performance contract (EPC).
South Suburban is one of Colorado’s largest special Districts, with approximately 702,062 square feet of indoor recreation space and hosts more than 3 million guests annually. In its audit, McKinstry identified $5.7 million in energy retrofits, capital improvements and other upgrades. In total, these upgrades, including staff education initiatives are projected to yield nearly $400,000 in annual utility and operational savings.
South Suburban also leveraged a one-time utility incentive of $215,000 from Xcel Energy and Denver Water in rebates and incentives to implement several measures including boiler and chiller upgrades and replacements, LED lighting retrofits, water conservation measures, building envelop improvements, new building automation controls and more.
The measures would help to lower the energy use intensity overall, and in some buildings, by up to 49%. In addition, the District purchased 725 solar panels in two local solar gardens to further offset South Suburban's energy use; to-date these solar panels have produced over 565,800 kWh of energy and $178,000 in cost avoidance.
powerED Behavior Management
South Suburban embarked on the McKinstry powerED program in 2015 as a way to maximize energy, operations and maintenance savings. Ten facilities across the District are participating in the three-year program, which will drive additional savings through ongoing commissioning, monthly tracking and reporting of utility data, behavioral engagement of staff and District users, communication and supporting the sustainability goals of the District's Sustainability Committee.
The program includes the integration and installation of a new open-protocol energy management system to properly control the HVAC equipment and optimize facility energy performance. With 22 electric and natural gas meters being integrated into the energy management system, SSPRD will be able to more quickly respond to issues affecting comfort and energy performance. powerED and the energy management system combined are expected to yield $107,184 of the $392,000 in annual savings.
People.Power.Planet is the energy awareness campaign of powerED that engages staff in online and offline energy-saving and sustainability activities. Nearly half of all District staff has signed up for a People.Power.Planet website account! Fun activities have ranged from a “sustainable selfie” challenge to a tour of Waste Management’s 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 guest’s comfort, and making sure that the television and monitors in the Administration building were turned off at the end of each business day.
Annual Outcome Snapshot
- $388,611 Utility spending
- $13,250 Operational savings
- 23% Reduction in natural gas
- 23% Reduction in gallons of water
- 19% Reduction in electricity consumption
- 7,800,000 Pounds of GHG emissions = 342 Houses removed from the grid
After a successful first year, we anticipate a positive outlook for the next two years.
For more information on this program and other District sustainability efforts, check out South Suburban on PeoplePowerPlanet.com