With the help of a Tracer Summit™ Automation System, Hood County is significantly reducing energy costs
• HVAC Systems Upgrade for Reliable, Efficient Comfort
• Building Automation System Installed
• Lighting Upgrade
• $100,600 Projected First-Year Energy and Maintenance Savings
• Less Than 4.5 Year Payback
Hood County, Texas, had aging HVAC equipment and was facing rising energy and maintenance costs, inconsistent space temperatures and comfort levels, and uncontrolled building operation at a number of county facilities. The County also faced a mandate from the State of Texas to reduce energy expenses.
Tim Flower, Hood County Director of Facilities, consulted with Marc Johnson and Brian Bowe at the Trane office in Dallas. Johnson and Bowe carefully studied Hood County’s infrastructure to identify energy-saving opportunities. They recommended upgrading the HVAC and lighting systems to not only save significant energy and maintenance costs, but improve comfort levels throughout the buildings. In addition to replacing HVAC units in the Annex 1, 2 and 3 buildings (that house offices including the Texas AgriLife Extension, Veterans Affairs, Voter Registrar, Treasurer, Drivers License Bureau and Fire Marshall) plus the county library and Law Enforcement Center, Trane recommended a complete air distribution system re-commissioning in Annex 1 to improve zone temperature stability. A Trane Tracer Summit™ building automation system provides HVAC systems control throughout the buildings.
The HVAC systems replacement and building automation system installation resulted in up to a 33 percent efficiency improvement while also improving comfort levels in the buildings. The lighting improvements resulted in up to 60 percent efficiency improvement. Overall cost savings are projected at $100,600 in the first year with a simple payback of less than 4.5 years. The net cash flow for the county over 20 years is projected at more than $1.5 million.
Tim Flower says that in addition to the significant energy savings, Hood County is realizing big savings in equipment repair and maintenance costs. Before the upgrades he and his staff spent considerable time making repairs to the old HVAC equipment just to keep it running. "Now all we do is replace filters when necessary." Flower adds, "This is the best project I’ve ever done. Everyone at Trane is super. They are always following up with us. The project manager was calling at least once a week and would frequently stop in to see if anything needed to be done. I can’t say enough good things about Trane. Every Trane employee is the kind of employee that any company would want to have. And all of our 300 employees are very happy with the Trane systems and upgrades. We haven’t had a single complaint. I don’t hear a thing about comfort. That’s the way I like it!"
County Judge Andy Rash, the county’s chief executive officer, seconds Flower’s comments, saying, "People aren’t calling me anymore to complain about air conditioning!"
About Hood County
The Hood County Courthouse was built in 1891 and will soon be undergoing a $6 million renovation.