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July 28, 2009
Pennsylvania Vo-Tech Center Invests $3.4 Million in Energy-Efficiency Upgrades
Performance Contract with TAC to Save More than $50,000 Annually, Protect Against Future Electric Rate Increases
DALLAS - July 28, 2009 - The Venango Technology Center (VTC) in Oil City, Pa., is implementing $3.4 million in facility enhancements designed to improve operations, comfort and efficiency in its 95,000-square foot facility. TAC by Schneider Electric, the building management and energy services business of Schneider Electric, will complete the work as a performance contract with the center. TAC guarantees that the VTC will reduce its utility costs by $50,000 annually when the project is completed in the fall of 2009.
The Venango Technology Center provides vocational and technical education for high school students and adults in six participating school districts in Venango, Crawford and Forest counties in northwestern Pennsylvania. While its programs are fulfilling a critical need in the community, the center’s facility is showing its age. Original mechanical equipment was 40 years old and at the end of its useful life, lighting was inefficient and antiquated, and utility charges were high and expected to increase.
“Pennsylvania will soon be deregulating electricity, which could mean a 30 to 40 percent increase in costs for an all electric facility such as ours,” said Pat Adams, business manager, Venango Technology Center. “We sought out the most cost-effective means to diversify our energy sources and replace equipment. The performance contract with TAC met all our needs, because it focuses on the key needs of the building, has an energy conservation focus, and delivers long-term results for the facility.”
Performance contracting offers many long-term benefits for school districts, such as improved facility efficiency, occupant comfort, and improved energy-using infrastructure. Typically, new, more efficient equipment and upgraded facility automation systems maximize energy efficiency and generate utility savings. TAC guarantees the amount of savings that performance contracting projects will achieve and agrees to pay the difference if that amount is not realized.
TAC will implement a variety of energy conservation measures (ECMs) at the VTC to increase efficiency and lower utility costs. These include a new heating, ventilating and air-conditioning system for the entire building; a conversion of existing lighting fixtures to new energy-efficient T8 lamps; and upgrading the energy management system for better control of all the building’s systems. The addition of natural gas heating will lower electric demand and minimize the effects of future rate increases on the center. Leveraging on local TAC resources, TAC Energy Solutions has partnered with FIT Optimized Solution LLC of Pittsburgh, PA, to deliver on the controls portion of the project. This will be their fourth project collaboration with TAC Energy Solutions.
TAC is guaranteeing the VTC will save $50,000 annually in utility charges but estimates that the center will actually save as much as $70,000 in energy and maintenance costs each year.
“Performance contracting is the most cost-effective solution for an institution like the VTC to upgrade its physical plant because it allows for the leveraging of energy and maintenance savings as funding source,” said Shon Anderson, vice president of sales, TAC Energy Solutions. “This all-electric facility had serious concerns of the impact of electric deregulation. In addition, the building needed to be kept up-to-date to handle the vocational student demand. The VTC serves an important function for the six local sending school districts, which would not be able to handle the student load if VTC was not around.”