Johnson Controls and Arkansas State University have signed a $15 million energy performance contract aimed at dramatically advancing the university’s sustainability initiatives. This includes improvements to lighting, water conservation, waste management, energy management, HVAC, and utility monitoring systems.

Recent energy legislation has enhanced the Arkansas Energy Performance Contracting program, allowing Arkansas State and other educational institutions to benefit. Energy performance contracting is a financing mechanism used to pay for energy efficiency improvements, which are then paid back through annual energy and operational savings. The Arkansas State energy performance contract features a 20-year payback and operational savings.

“We’re thrilled to be working with Johnson Controls to make significant upgrades to our energy infrastructure,” said Dr. Charles L. Welch, president of the Arkansas State University System. “Those upgrades will benefit everyone in the Arkansas State community — students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff, and visitors to our campus.”

The upgrades, scheduled for completion by Nov. 30, 2016, will include:

• Lighting – Johnson Controls will install new LED lights and replace emergency lighting fixtures throughout campus.

• Water conservation – Johnson Controls will either replace or retrofit plumbing fixtures, toilets, urinals, aerators on lavatory faucets and kitchen sinks, and showerheads with water-efficient fixtures and systems.

• Waste management — Johnson Controls will install four industrial-grade trash compaction systems, one each at the Convocation Center, Facilities Management building, Education and Communications building, and Centennial Bank football stadium.

• Energy management — Johnson Controls will make various software, server, workstation, and database improvements at more than a dozen facilities throughout campus.

• HVAC – Johnson Controls will replace an aging chiller with an energy-efficient chiller at the IT Services building; replace three air-handling units with new units at the Education and Communications building; and replace two air-handling units with new units at the Lab Sciences East building.

• Lab hood improvements — The Arkansas Bioscience Institute (ABI) building has several lab fume hoods with operation that is critical during experiments and research. The existing fume hood controls were failing and causing room pressure issues as well as excessive use of energy. Johnson Controls will replace the existing failed controls and sensors with new TSI lab controls. This will help to provide a safe environment for faculty and students as well as decrease the building’s overall energy usage.

• Utility monitoring — Johnson Controls will install an energy management platform that will provide real-time monitoring of electric power demand and consumption.

As part of the energy performance contract, Arkansas State will work closely with Johnson Controls and the Arkansas Energy Office to implement the upgrades. The office offers assistance to state agencies, institutions of higher learning, municipalities, and counties through its seven-step energy performance contracting program.

“The Arkansas State project is setting the standard by which other energy performance contracts will be measured in the state,” said Chet Howland, energy program manager for the Arkansas Energy Office. “We expect the project to have an economic impact of over $30 million with no upfront cost to Arkansas State, as guaranteed energy savings will pay for the project over the next two decades.”