South Suburban Park and Recreation and McKinstry partnered on an energy-performance contract in 2013 to implement more than $5.7 million in energy retrofits, capital improvements and other upgrades to reduce the district’s utility expenses and carbon footprint.
The energy project included:
These measures have significantly lowered energy use overall, and in some buildings by up to 50 percent. In addition, SSPR purchased 725 solar panels in two local solar gardens to further offset the district’s energy use. To date, these solar panels are also exceeding annual expected savings by more than $10,000 annually for a total cost savings of $91,000 per year.
“These upgrades not only help South Suburban Park and Recreation District stretch its energy dollars, but will provide a healthier, more comfortable environment for staff and patrons for years to come,” said Chris Larocque, McKinstry’s energy vice president.
As part of this project, McKinstry and SSPR’s Sustainability Committee have been engaging SSPR staff through McKinstry’s “powerED” program. The behavior-focused program is aimed at generating awareness about how actions influence energy efficiency. It also offers online and offline sustainability activities.
Now in the third year of a three-year program, more than 100 SSPR employees have signed up for powerED’s online People.Power.Planet campaign, where activities range from a “sustainable selfie” challenge to a tour of a recycling facility to a printer-consolidation challenge.
Other powerED highlights include adjusting guest and conference room thermostats at Lone Tree Golf Club & Hotel (allowing for additional energy savings while maintaining guests’ comfort) and making sure equipment is optimized and schedules are adjusted to maximize energy savings.
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