Energy Performance Improvement (EPI)


Program Overview

Since FY02, UES has led the university effort to conserve water and energy consumption on campus, resulting in a 45 percent reduction in energy consumption per gross square foot served, together with a comparable reduction in water consumption. Significant progress has been made to improve operating efficiency of utility production facilities, distribution systems, building automation and energy systems. Through the Energy Stewardship Program (ESP) and the Energy Action Plan (EAP), there has also been significant outreach and engagement with campus customers. However, additional opportunities exist to more fully engage building occupants and department leaders to actively support energy conservation efforts.

Starting with a pilot program, UES proposes to achieve greater buy‐in through increased engagement to generate more awareness and support at the individual and department levels. It is our belief that as customers and occupants understand how much it costs to operate their building, engagement and support for conservation and efficiency improvement efforts will be stronger.

The program has two primary objectives:

  • 1) Raise awareness and identify opportunities for improved efficiency and sustainability through engagement with facility occupants and stakeholders.
  • 2) Implement energy system technical solutions, with occupant engagement and participation, to improve facility operating efficiency and reduce energy consumption and cost.
  • Engagement

    After the initial kick‐off, UES Energy Stewards will be the primary interface with department representatives and building occupants. Stewards will meet and communicate with occupants, help them understand where, when, how, and why energy is being consumed (and how it can be reduced), monitor energy consumption and cost, present recommendations for energy reduction, and facilitate quarterly meetings/presentations showing the impact of energy and water consumption reduction measures.

    The UES Analytical Services Team will ensure that consumption data is accurate and validate metered data integrity. In addition, the team will meet with stakeholders to ensure utility consumption and cost data is accessible and well understood.

    The Building Automation System (BAS) team will provide the support required to verify that building sensors and actuators are operating correctly and implement improved demand‐based BAS programming to reduce energy consumption while ensuring customer needs are met. The team will be investigating air changes, scheduling, programming, comfort issues, and other issues and opportunities identified by the team.

    Pilot Program

    Utilities & Energy Services (UES), working in close coordination with departments from select buildings, recently completed an Energy Performance Improvement (EPI) pilot program with the goal of decreasing operating cost. The program begins with getting ‘buy-in’ from department leadership for any modifications made to the facility, and participating departments are incentivized by sharing in the cost avoidance achieved through energy consumption reduction. The next step is a meeting with building occupants about the building’s energy consumption and brainstorming to identify solutions for reducing unnecessary building consumption and cost. An essential aspect of the EPI program is that initiatives are discussed up front and any changes to building operations are monitored to focus on achieving positive results.

    Targeting different types of buildings with potential for savings, the EPI pilot program included Texas A&M Institute for Preclinical Studies (TIPS), Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building (ILSB), Liberal Arts/Arts and Humanities (LAAH), and the Emerging Technologies Building (ETB). Using the consumption baseline from the previous 12 months for electricity, chilled water, and heating hot water, technical improvements were made to minimize energy consumption and operating cost. An intimate knowledge of occupant needs and challenges within the buildings proved invaluable, and the proactive involvement by facility managers and coordinators were the key to the success of the EPI program.

    The greatest savings were achieved in TIPS, with total cost avoidance for the facility reaching nearly $245,000 during the 12 month performance period, but each building reached substantial results. In total, all four buildings combined to reach $500,000 in cost avoidance during the pilot program. To acknowledge the significant efforts and results achieved, ‘shared savings’ will be awarded to all four participating facilities.

    Based on the success of the pilot program, an expanded EPI program will be implemented starting in FY19.

    Pilot Program Savings:

     Building Start Date Total Savings
    Texas A&M Institute for Preclinical Studies February 2017 $244,972
    Emerging Technologies Building September 2017 $138,424
    Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building February 2017 $72,361
    Liberal Arts/Arts & Humanities April 2017 $44,043

    TOTAL SAVINGS: $499,800

    Texas A&M Institute for Preclinical Studies (TIPS)

    In collaboration with facility coordinators, the following adjustments have been made to the building:

  • • Modifications were made to lighting controls
  • • Successfully reduced room Air Changes per Hour (ACH) from six per hour to four during unoccupied times
  • • Repairs and improvements were made to building lighting and HVAC systems with little to no disruption in daily operation
  • • New humidity sensors installed in the MRI area
  • • Adjusting the operation of occupancy sensors in conference rooms during building occupied hours
  •  Commodity Baseline Consumption Actual Consumption Avoided Cost*
    Electricity 2,858,558 2,268,362 $46,508
    Chilled Water 28,397 18,695 $147,321
    Heating Hot Water 9,026 5,712 $51,143
    TOTAL $244,972
    *February 2017 - February 2018

    Emerging Technologies Building (ETB)

    In collaboration with facility coordinators, the following adjustments have been made to the building:

  • • Updated HVAC schedule has been implemented when not occupied
  • • Improved Lab flow systems to maintain 8 Air Changes per Hour (ACH)
  • • Relocated the occupancy sensors and implemented setbacks in labs when not being used during semester
  • • Created a sample Fume Hood Sash report for labs and created stickers for Fume Hood Sashes as reminders to keep the sashes closed
  • • Investigated lighting controls for turning off unnecessary lights during daylight hours
  • • Updated HVAC schedule for summer
  •  Commodity Baseline Consumption Actual Consumption Avoided Cost*
    Electricity 2,922,675 2,605,992 $24,701
    Chilled Water 26,747 20,437 $95,829
    Heating Hot Water 5,308 4,148 $17,894
    TOTAL $138,424
    *September 2017 - September 2018

    Interdisciplinary Life Sciences Building (ILSB)

    In collaboration with facility coordinators, the following adjustments have been made to the building:

  • • Calibrate sensors to modify Air Changes per Hour (ACH) according to AHSRAE Standards.
  • • Repaired all Enthalpy wheels, and revised the Enthalpy wheel control sequence to optimize energy performance.
  • • Repaired exhaust fan dampers that were causing fans to not reach setpoint and dampers that were found stuck in position.
  • • Repaired failed points for all fume hoods. Made mechanical modifications to 21 fume hoods to convert from CAV to VAV controls.
  • • Outdoor air control is now based off of classroom CO2 levels rather than hall CO2 levels.
  • • Modified Relief Air Flow Levels that were found to be set too high.
  • • Corrected synchronization issues by updating firmware on all Siemens field panels.
  • • Re-assigned sensors that were found to be crossed for different rooms.
  •  Commodity Baseline Consumption Actual Consumption Avoided Cost*
    Electricity 7,393,361 7,330,457 $4,897
    Chilled Water 46,616 42,763 $58,507
    Heating Hot Water 13,984 13,403 $8,957
    TOTAL $72,361
    *February 2017 - February 2018

    Liberal Arts/Arts & Humanities (LAAH)

    In collaboration with facility coordinators, the following adjustments have been made to the building:

  • • 160+ VAV motors had incorrect timing sequences corrected.
  • • 110+ air filters were identified and placed on a pm schedule (mostly within the VAV boxes).
  • • Identified deficient occupancy sensors. Reprogrammed/repaired as needed including firmware updates, Ultrasound and PIR sensitivity adjustments.
  • • Closed 10+ HHW bypass valves which significantly lowered consumption during the cooling season.
  • • Identified 90+ spaces being over-conditioned due to inaccurate minimum flows.
  •  Commodity Baseline Consumption Actual Consumption Avoided Cost*
    Electricity 698,997 595,308 $8,178
    Chilled Water 5,555 3,839 $26,054
    Heating Hot Water 1,318 682 $9,812
    TOTAL $44,043
    *April 2017 - April 2018
    For more information about the EPI program, contact UES Communication Coordinator, Zachery McNew @ 979.458.2792