Case Study: School HVAC Upgrades

InvestSmart with JEA provides incentives for JEA’s business customers who purchase and install eligible high-efficiency energy conservation measures. 

Saving 700,000 kWh Per Year on Energy

Duval County Public Schools have been an integral part of the Jacksonville community for over 100 years. The district is comprised of more than 170 schools throughout the metropolitan area and is responsible for educating approximately 123,000 students each school day, making it one of the nation’s largest public school districts.

Susan Carew is the Director of the Facility Engineering and Energy Department, which focuses on providing wellmaintained functional facilities conducive to ensuring a safe and efficient instructional environment. Susan became aware of the InvestSmart with JEA program through a JEA Account Representative, who educated her about the program and walked her through the rebate application process.

Susan was encouraged to InvestSmart with JEA when she learned that as much as 50 percent of her district’s total energy was being used inefficiently or unnecessarily. This was compounded by the fact that in the United States, K-12 school districts spend more than $6 billion annually on energy — more than is spent on computers and textbooks combined.*

Convinced by the potential energy cost savings, Susan had five chillers replaced throughout several schools in the district. Local contractor Quantum Mechanical installed the five Trane chillers, including two 200-ton air-cooled chillers, two 185-ton air-cooled chillers and one 170-ton air-cooled chiller.

Project Duval County Public Schools
Business Contact Susan Carew
Installation Contractor Quantum Mechanical (Trane Chillers)
Measures 5 Chiller Upgrades
Annual Energy Savings 700,000 kWh / year
Project Implementation Cost $345,247 after $75,000 rebate
Simple Payback 4.6 years

The Results

The upgrades will result in a total estimated yearly energy savings of 700,000 kWh per year. With an initial investment of $420,247 less the rebate of $75,000, the project implementation cost was $345,247. In the end, Susan will see a simple payback in less than five years.

When asked about the program, Susan said, “For me, energy savings for the school district is a high priority. The InvestSmart with JEA program easily helped me achieve our goal in updating to energy-efficient chillers and reducing our energy usage. In fact, we have done additional energy efficiency upgrades throughout the schools, such as retrofitting lighting and installing occupancy sensors.”

Reduce Costs by as Much as 45%

HVAC can account for as much as half of a school’s annual energy use. By using high-efficiency unitary air conditioner and heat pump equipment you can significantly reduce your energy costs, sometimes by as much as 45 percent. 

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