Trane — by Trane Technologies, a global climate company — announced the Lenoir City School System in Lenoir City, Tennessee, achieved a total energy savings of nearly $1.6 million in the three years following a comprehensive energy and infrastructure upgrade on six school and administration buildings. This is 42% higher than the savings guaranteed by Trane. 

The savings involve 3,398,115 kWh in electric, 31,772 therms in natural gas, and 2,316 gallons of water. This equals 2,959 metric tons of reduced carbon emissions, the equivalent of more than 7.5 million miles driven by an average passenger vehicle.

The impact of these improvements can be felt on a daily basis. Even during the recent heat wave, staff and students enjoyed a comfortable indoor environment with more closely controlled temperatures and better IAQ from well-ventilated air and optimal light levels all while keeping costs low.

ASHRAE recognized the project with a Regional Technology Award for outstanding design innovation and successful implementation. This qualifies the project for ASHRAE’s National Technology Award — one of the HVAC industry’s most prestigious honors — for efficient energy use in buildings and environmental system performance.

“This significant renovation project presented a ‘perfect storm’ of opportunity for our schools,” said Dr. Jeanne Barker, director of schools, Lenoir City School System. “Working with Trane, we were able to upgrade our existing infrastructure and improve our energy efficiency. While we had high expectations for the outcome, they have been significantly surpassed each year since construction completed.”

Trane consulted with the project team to identify opportunities to support the school system’s energy reduction goals, including upgrading the HVAC infrastructure along with a web-based integrated building automation controls platform, conserving waste water and other general improvements in three of the largest buildings, and replacing the existing interior and exterior building lighting to high-efficiency LED fixtures in all of their buildings. The project included high-efficiency systems upgrades for Lenoir City’s elementary school, middle school, high school, and vocational building, central office, maintenance, and the old central office.

The project was solely funded via a loan through the Tennessee Energy Efficient Schools Initiative (EESI) and will be repaid using the energy savings realized by the project. Project costs and savings were reviewed in detail and approved by EESI’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). Savings were further enhanced by approximately $85,000 in energy efficiency rebates from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Any additional savings will flow directly back to the school system. 

“The improvements requested by Lenoir City Schools to help them upgrade their systems gave us the opportunity to make a larger impact through improved energy efficiency and decreased energy consumption,” said Nancy McBee, senior account manager, complex solutions, Trane. “Through our collaboration, we have designed and implemented a highly efficient solution that has already made a positive impact on the community and helped to create a more sustainable future for our planet.”