Energy Department recognizes leadership in commercial building rooftop unit efficiency

The U.S. Department of Energy, through the Better Buildings Alliance's Advanced Rooftop Unit Campaign (ARC), has recognized eight organizations for their energy efficiency leadership in replacing and upgrading rooftop units (RTUs) in commercial buildings.

Since 2013, 300 partners have replaced or upgraded a total of 77,000 units, saving over $166 million in energy costs and racking up $66 million in savings in 2016 alone.

Organizations are replacing older, inefficient RTUs to reduce energy costs and improve thermal comfort. New systems can reduce a building's cooling and ventilating energy consumption by 20–50 percent and save as much as $3,700 per RTU — equivalent to saving $6.7 billion and 670 trillion Btu annually if all of the RTUs across the country were upgraded.

The following organizations are being recognized this year for achieving significant savings. Altogether these eight organizations replaced and retrofitted 8,550 units in a single year and realized a savings of $5.6 million.

  • CLEAResult, with the support of Southern California Edison's HVAC Optimization Commercial Quality Maintenance program, had the highest number of advanced RTU control retrofits with 867 retrofits saving approximately 6 million kilowatt hours (kWh). The program also offers financial incentives for enhanced RTU maintenance agreements that follow ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 180 and is recognized as the most innovative RTU efficiency program.
  • Fontana Unified School District had the highest number of RTU installations that meet or exceed RTU challenge specifications with 200 RTUs worth $220,000 in energy savings annually.
  • Giant Tiger Stores Limited had the largest efficiency gain for a single building RTU replacement project. They reaped a 64 percent installed efficiency gain with 40 percent capacity reduction, saving approximately 30,800 kWh annually.
  • H&M had the highest number of advanced automated fault detection and diagnostic retrofit installations on their RTUs, with 131 installations.
  • Life Time – Healthy Way of Life had the highest percentage of their RTU portfolio upgraded in recent years. The majority of the fleet is now comprised of high-efficiency units, as well as cutting edge control technology that is the most innovative among the participating partners. During a four-year period, the company completely replaced 1,027 RTUs and retrofitted an additional 1,800 RTUs, resulting in an estimated savings of 21 million kWh, or $2.1 million.
  • Target Corporation had the highest number of high-efficiency RTU installations, as well as the highest number of advanced RTU control retrofits. Target installed 372 high-efficiency RTUs and upgraded 360 of their existing RTUs with advanced control retrofits across 60 stores resulting in an estimated savings of 11 million kWh, worth $1.1 million annually.
  • Ulta Beauty has upgraded 1,310 RTUs with high-efficiency replacements since January 2013, or 31.4 percent of their RTU inventory—the highest percentage of portfolio upgraded with high-efficiency RTU installations in a 4-year period.  These upgrades provide an estimated savings of 13 million kWh and $1.3 million annually. Ulta is also being recognized for having the most successful landlord/tenant arrangement for RTU efficiency in leased spaces.
  • Xcel Energy Colorado had the highest number of high-efficiency RTU installations through an efficiency program by a supporting partner. Xcel's program installed 2,484 high-efficiency RTUs, resulting in an estimated savings of 2.3 million kWh, worth $230,000 annually.


Topics: Architectural Firms, Associations / Organizations, Building Owners and Managers, Construction Firms, Consulting - Green & Sustainable Strategies and Solutions, Energy Saving Products, Engineering Firms, Exteriors, Great Commercial Buildings, Sustainable Communities, Technology, Urban Planning and Design, Ventilation

Companies: U.S. Department of Energy

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