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Sustainable Energy Master Plan

A major university approached us to help them develop a plan to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 30% over a ten year period. Working with facilities, financial services, students and faculty, we started a sustainability committee. The committee worked with Luthin Associates to develop a plan that would enable the customer to meet its goals and increase the sustainability of its campuses which comprised more than 40 buildings and over 3 million square feet.

The master plan was developed over several years and with several discrete steps. Our assistance included:

  • Managing an RFP to procure auditing and retro commissioning services from an energy engineering firm. The study also included evaluations of Demand Response.
  • Preparing a study to evaluate the environmental and financial impact of converting heavy oil boilers to dual fuel interruptible natural gas.
  • Evaluating the potential to achieve LEED certification for three new buildings and a retrofit.
  • Evaluating the impact of a CHP plant that would be sized at the campus thermal load.
  • Managing implementation of a solar PV installation.
  • Identifying the potential for further solar and energy storage projects.
  • Assisting in procuring significant energy conservation incentives and public grants.
  • Managing an RFP to procure demand response services.
  • Assisting the university in obtaining positive publicity.

While the Master Plan is still in progress, the customer expects to reach its goal at the conclusion of the ten year period. After five years they had achieved about 70% of goal.

FlexTech Consultant for University

A well-established New York City university (the University) utilized NYSERDA's FlexTech program to retain Luthin Associates, an energy consulting firm and at the time, a FlexTech Consultant, to develop an energy sustainability master plan. The scope included a benchmarking study to identify the University's current energy usage and carbon footprint. Luthin Associates also drafted and managed a Request for Proposals (RFP) to retain an engineering firm that conducted an energy audit of the 2.8 million square feet of facilities across two campuses. A FlexTech partner performed the study which identified $2.8 million in savings with an average payback of less than three years. The measures included retro commissioning, steam trap mitigation, and replacing water and lighting fixtures. Energy savings were estimated to be almost 4 million kilowatt hours (kWh) and 12,000 dekatherms of fossil fuels per year.

Other strategies that were developed with Luthin Associates' assistance included substituting low carbon emitting natural gas for heavy oil in the boilers; designing all new buildings at a minimum level of LEED Silver; and, installing a solar photovoltaic system. The University will also be investigating the feasibility of a combine heat and power (CHP) project as well as an all-electric campus fleet. As of 2016, the University reduced its carbon footprint by 15% and has developed a plan that has it on target to meet the 30% goal by 2017. Since 2005, its energy usage is down 5% per square foot. It now has more than 700,000 square feet (about 16% of the total area) of new facilities that were built to meet LEED standards including a law school, two dormitories and a business school. The University is in discussions to install 2.1 MW of additional solar power, new windows and a CHP plant. It is also in the process of retrofitting all lighting with LEDs.

The University estimates that by 2017, it will have reduced emissions by more than 3,000 MT of CO2e. This would meet the 30% reduction pledge. All of the University's efforts have been implemented with the assistance of Luthin staff. Our efforts included financial analysis of project pro formas; managing competitive bidding; project management; and, incentive procurement. We have assisted the University in collecting more than $2 million in NYSERDA incentives.