Fulton County Takes Back Control with Performance Contracting

Fulton County needed to get control of the energy systems powering their buildings.

The county’s complex of buildings in Johnstown, NY was equipped with an aging and inefficient HVAC system that wasted energy and was in danger of failing, causing County officials to worry about the possibility of expensive emergency repairs.

To make matters worse, the existing building automation system did not control all of the HVAC equipment and featured proprietary controls. The proprietary nature of the controls limited the types of solutions the County could integrate with the system. Furthermore they were forced  into an expensive yearly service contract to maintain the equipment and had lost control of their control system.

All of these variables contributed to uneven and sporadic temperatures throughout the complex, making employees uncomfortable and putting an unnecessary strain on the HVAC equipment.

The County was ready to invest in optimizing their energy system to take back control.

County leaders sought an energy systems optimization solution that would take their energy needs, budget and building occupants into account. They needed a solution that gave them full control of their energy systems and greater flexibility for future maintenance interventions, upgrades and expansions. Fulton County wanted a truly open protocol infrastructure that gave them the ability to integrate all building systems together and the option to choose a contractor to service the controls or to maintain them utilizing their own maintenance staff.

Through a collaboration with SmartWatt, the county completed a project funded through an energy performance contracting vehicle, requiring no up-front capital and the ability to use the guaranteed energy savings to pay for the project. In addition to a new building automation system to control all HVAC systems. This project also included lighting, boilers, building envelope improvements, and water conservation.

With this energy systems optimization performance contracting solution completed by SmartWatt, the County has reduced its energy usage, replaced aging equipment, and has enhanced occupant comfort, while maintaining full control of their energy systems. The county saves $68,000 annually in energy costs and an additional $20,000 in maintenance.

On top of the energy and financial savings, Fulton County now has employees working in a comfortable environment, being more productive, and residents happy to visit their buildings. Additionally, with their new optimized energy system, County officials don’t have the stress of a pending HVAC failure. This energy systems optimization project will continue to allow the County to cut operational costs and positively affect the local community.

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