Wednesday, February 12, 2014

School Board hears Trane update

by Matt Hughes
J-E News Editor
The Webster County School Board heard from representatives of Harshaw Trane on Monday night.
On September 4, 2012 school board officials entered into a twenty year contract with the Lexington based Trane for a performance-based guaranteed energy savings project. The contract included many energy and maintenance saving technologies and techniques and guaranteed an annual savings of $108,023. 
The guaranteed savings program was designed to allow Webster County Schools to defer a large amount of the project’s cost by generating savings from the operating budget and use those savings to pay for the agreed upon improvements. The total cost of the project was $2.9 million, $98,000 of which was bonded.
“When we started this process two years ago the main focus was updating Sebree Elem HVAC,” said Ernie Tacogue, K-12 Market Leader for Trane. “We had to find enough energy savings so that over time it would pay for the HVAC.”
Among the problem areas he said they noted in there initial assessment were Sebree’s HVAC which had been installed primarily in 1986, control issues in other schools, outdated lighting technologies and excessive water consumption.
The new systems installed by Trane include a web based control system, accessible by facilities manager Dennis Parrish and the school’s Trane representative based in the Lexington office. 
“You can control your HVAC from one central location,” said Tacogue. “If you can manage that, you can manage 60% of your energy savings.”
The system also allows the operator to monitor the usage of electricity and gas in real time. Tacogue said that this would allow them to identify peak usage times and adjust things like the HVAC to bring down the utility cost.
Tacogue said it was a bit like continually “fine tuning” each facility.
Another bonus, he told the board, was that the system constantly monitors the temperature of all of the districts refrigerators and freezers. If they raise to an unsafe level it automatically notifies Parrish and Trane.
“We will meet on a quarterly basis and show you where you are,” said Curt Barrett,  Webster County’s Trane representative. 

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