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Pennsylvania School Improves Energy Efficiency


HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Sinking Springs Elementary School in York, Pa., part of the Central York School District, is saving $170,000 annually after completing energy efficiency upgrades. InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance member NRG Controls, Inc., of Harrisburg, an EPA Energy Star service and product provider, partnered with the district to benchmark the utility costs at Sinking Springs Elementary and implement the upgrades.

NRG serves commercial and public sector clients in central Pennsylvania and is a longstanding member of the InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance, an international alliance of independent building automation contractors.

The Central York School District brought in NRG to complete a benchmarking and energy performance assessment to determine how to reduce energy consumption at the 89,000 square-foot foot Sinking Springs Elementary built in 2000. NRG concluded that investing $524,000 in a building automation system (BAS) upgrade, burner retrofits, integration of the boiler to the BAS, and a chiller replacement would increase energy efficiency and improve occupant comfort for the more than 700 students and staff at the fourth through sixth grade school.

"NRG’s energy cost savings analysis determined that completing the recommended projects would lower energy use and costs enough to allow the district to achieve a full return on its investment in approximately three years," said Jay Fantaski, vice president, operations for NRG Controls. "Because we were able to complete the project in six months, the school district did not have to wait to begin to see that ROI."

The BAS upgrades at Sinking Springs Elementary utilized LON and MODBUS protocols, and included adding a supervisory graphical user interface, system programing, graphics generation, sequence optimization and a complete data transfer interface (DTI) to the BAS system via MODBUS. NRG also upgraded two burner assemblies with auto flame control, added variable frequency drives and installed a new 225 ton chiller. Equipment and systems from various manufacturers, such as Tridium, Schneider Electric, Trane, Limpsfield and Square D were all integrated using the BAS.

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