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Why Trane Leverages Public-Private Partnerships to Reduce Energy Consumption

December 11, 2014

With continued variability in temperatures throughout the year, increasing energy efficiency becomes a top priority for organizations across many markets, including the government.

According to an article on, “Boosting Energy Performance in Federal Facilities,” the government seeks to lead the marketplace in conserving and managing its buildings’ energy usage. Both presidential administrations in this century have established numerous targets to reduce energy use and save costs in federal facilities — and could be an example for private-sector businesses to follow.

Both public and private sector organizations are feeling the pressure to operate their buildings as efficiently as possible. Trane works with our clients to create environments that are reliable and safe, as well as healthy, comfortable and efficient. It’s our philosophy that an energy-efficient building is not only defined by its structure and operations, but also by how people use it.

One great example of a government organization that shares Trane’s and the federal government’s commitment to energy efficiency is the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in Richmond. Because of the agency’s dedication to energy management and conservation, the DMV was recently awarded our “Energy Efficiency Award,” which distinguishes the DMV as a national leader in reducing its environmental impact.

The 310,650 square-foot, nine-story facility completed upgrades that are expected to reduce energy consumption by 36 percent while cutting operational costs by $284,000.

To fund most of the project, the DMV used a state program to secure a performance contract, which allows companies like Trane (known as energy service companies or ESCOs) to turn the government’s predicted energy savings into profit over the course of the contract. It also allows the government to minimize its energy usage and complete retrofits in existing buildings at little or no initial cost. It’s a clear win-win for both public and private sectors, saving energy and reducing costs for the government while providing a profit margin for ESCOs.

Upgrades made by the DMV include:

  •  Replacing all interior and exterior lighting systems, as well as outdated windows, with high-efficiency materials;
  • Water retrofits to conserve water, and chilled water system upgrades that will reduce sewer fees for cooling tower water;
  • Replacing outdated pneumatic building controls to allow for chiller plant optimization and control of the heating plant, lighting system and other solutions; and
  • A one-year maintenance contract to help ensure that new systems continue to run optimally.

These improvements exceed Virginia’s state requirements for energy efficiency and will create a more comfortable and productive environment for the DMV’s customers and employees.

Learn how Trane can help you identify opportunities to reduce energy consumption and run your building more efficiently.