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7/23/2014

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InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance Firm Enables Schools to Save Energy, Raise EnergyStar Ratings



SmartEdge Enables Pa. School District to Reduce Energy Consumption, Save More Than $160,000

ERIE, Pa. — The Fort LeBoeuf School District in northwest Pennsylvania is saving more than $160,000 annually after completing a multi-phase facility enhancement program. InsideIQ™ Building Automation Alliance member SmartEdge, a provider of facility control products, systems and support, completed projects designed to lower utility costs and resolve infrastructure problems at district buildings as well as raise the EnergyStar ratings for each of the district’s schools. SmartEdge is a longstanding member of the InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance, an international alliance of independent building automation contractors, in western New York and northwest Pennsylvania.

The first phase of the facility enhancement plan, implemented at a cost of $1.3 million, focused on four of the district’s five school buildings. SmartEdge completed upgrades to interior and exterior lighting, installed new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system controls, optimized boiler plant operations, retro-commissioned major HVAC equipment, rebalanced air flows, and installed a new high efficiency chiller.

The second phase of SmartEdge’s plan focused strictly on the Robison Elementary facility and aimed not only at improving energy efficiency but also at upgrading life safety and security systems. The $3.3 million program of facility enhancements included upgrades to interior and exterior lighting, installation of a new HVAC system and associated direct digital controls (DDC), installation of new windows, upgrades to fire and security systems, and installation of a new district-wide telephone system.

The first phase of the facility enhancement program, completed in December 2012, has reduced annual electrical consumption by more than 965,000 kilowatt-hours (kwh), or approximately 30 percent, and annual gas consumption has been reduced by over 37,000 centum cubic-feet (ccf), or 24 percent. Based on current energy unit costs, the reduced consumption lowers annual utility costs by $110,000 while operations and maintenance cost savings are estimated to be an additional $19,000 annually.

While not strictly an energy efficiency upgrade, the recently completed second phase work at Robison Elementary will generate energy savings of 166,000 kwh of electricity and almost 8,000 ccf of natural gas. This will provide an additional utility cost savings of $22,000, based on current energy unit costs and savings of $12,000 in operations and maintenance.

“InsideIQ members like SmartEdge are experts at helping school districts, government entities, hospitals and private sector facilities achieve greater energy efficiency,” said Scott Derby, vice president of SmartEdge and InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance board member. “Focusing on energy efficiency offers many long-term benefits, such as improved facility efficiency, enhanced occupant comfort and reduced operational costs while having a positive environmental impact, such as reducing carbon footprints.”

All of the Fort LeBoeuf Schools have improved their EnergyStar ratings as a result of these projects, according to Robert Klein, general manager – energy and commissioning services for SmartEdge. Administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the EnergyStar program provides a standardized method of benchmarking similar buildings. “The improvements at Robison Elementary enabled the school to increase its EnergyStar rating from 84 to 99, which means the school’s energy performance exceeds 99 percent of the energy performance of similar school buildings in the EPA data base,” said Klein. Other district schools saw similar gains. “The high school improved to 72 from 21, the middle school to 84 from 54,” he said, “while one elementary school saw its EnergyStar rating rise from 36 to 81 and the other went from 12 all the way to 84.”

The Fort LeBoeuf School District is located in Waterford, Pa., just south of Erie, and has a total enrollment of 2,100 students. The district’s five school buildings (high school, middle school, three elementary schools) and one maintenance facility contain 445,000 square feet, including 278,000 square feet of instructional area.

About InsideIQ

InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance is an organization comprised of 48 independent commercial building and facility automation companies representing common automation and security system platforms. Members specialize in the design and implementation of facilities and process control systems, systems integration, enterprise security systems, facilities maintenance services, energy services, and the representation of other value-added products and services. InsideIQ is the largest independent organization of its kind. Member companies provide consistent applications, coordination, and support for commercial facility owners across the United States, Canada, The Netherlands and Australia. More information is available online at www.insideiq.org.

About SmartEdge

SmartEdge offers single sourcing of world-class facility control products, systems and support across upstate New York and northwestern Pennsylvania. SmartEdge, with corporate headquarters near Buffalo, New York, and regional offices in Jamestown and Rochester, New York, and Erie, Pennsylvania, employs 80 specialists in engineering, design, sales, administration, service and electrical/mechanical support. Information is available online at http://smartedgeusa.com/

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