Trane is using a comprehensive solutions approach in helping Mesa County Valley School
District 51 improve its learning environment, make more efficient use of limited funding, and
save significant money for the school district. Although the average age of the district’s
forty-seven buildings is thirty-eight years, they now have the latest in infrastructure thanks to
$8.63 million in upgrades. The upgrades are expected to save the district more than
$617,000 per year in energy costs, and more than $390,000 in operating and maintenance
costs over the next five years. In addition to the school district upgrades, Trane orchestrated an
$804,000 utility rebate check for the district as a result of the Phase I projects--the largest such
rebate ever awarded by Xcel Energy to a client in the State of Colorado.
Mesa County Valley School District 51 was facing aging systems in the district’s numerous
schools. The systems were becoming increasingly expensive and difficult to repair as
the frequency of failures increased. And, like many school systems, Mesa County Valley
School District faced increasing energy and operating costs along with declining budgets.
Mesa County Valley School District 51 retained Trane as an Energy Services Company to analyze
the district’s facilities and recommend updates to aging infrastructure, improve the indoor
learning environment, save energy, reduce operating and maintenance costs, reduce the
district’s environmental impact and protect the investment in existing buildings. In addition to
numerous HVAC upgrades, significant work was done to retrofit lighting systems in classrooms
and gymnasiums to not only improve illumination, but save energy. Other
improvements included converting electric ovens in kitchens to high-efficiency natural gas
units, water conservation measures, and installing ice storage and solar heating systems.
To better monitor all of the various systems, the existing Trane Tracer Summit™ automation
system was converted and recommissioned as a Web-based system to monitor and control
literally thousands of control points.
The project is funded from the energy and a performance contract supported by the
Colorado Governor’s Energy Office (GEO) program which uses funds from the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). This program provides rebates to Colorado
businesses that invest in renewable energy technologies. A performance contract is an
option for funding energy-saving improvements and is a means for schools to manage and
optimize energy use, leveraging the savings to support strategic educational objectives.
Cal Clark, Director of Facilities and Maintenance
at Mesa County Valley School District 51, said, "Trane was already familiar with the equipment
in our school district. It was an easy decision to retain Trane as the ESCO. This has been a very
complex project. Trane has literally touched and assessed thousands of items and components.
David Miller, the on-site project manager for Trane, has done a superb job. Trane has also
worked very diligently to get us the various rebates from Xcel Energy--$804,000 to date.
We’re very happy and highly satisfied. In such tight budgetary times, we’re pleased that we
can increase efficiency in our schools while achieving one of our most important goals,
which is optimizing the teaching and learning environment. It’s even better that we can pay
for these improvements without new taxes."
Trane is designing even more retrofits and upgrades to produce additional energy and
operating cost savings, and generate another $500,000 in utility rebates for Mesa County
Valley School District 51.
Mesa County Valley School District 51 covers 2,200 square miles of
Mesa County, Colorado, and includes forty-three school campuses and four administration facilities. The school district serves more than
22,000 students. It is the largest employer between Denver and Provo, Utah, with more than 3.200 employees. District schools focus on
engaging students in a rigorous and relevant curriculum where all students are successfully learning.