An Indiana organization serving children and adults with disabilities will reduce energy bills and facility maintenance expenses using ultra-efficient Lennox® systems that helped the organization qualify for a federal grant. By demonstrating the large savings potential of replacing the HVAC systems, Opportunity Enterprises of Valparaiso, Indiana, qualified for more than $83,000 in matching federal stimulus funds to pay for the project.
“Many of the facility’s HVAC units were 10 to 20 years old, and highly inefficient,” said Mark McLean, Service Manager of Bloomfield Mechanical, which installed the new equipment.“On average, the Energence® rooftop units from Lennox were 30 percent more efficient than the existing rooftop units.” McLean installed 11 Energence units, which are available with up to 17.0 SEER ratings, and six T-Class™ split system units from Lennox.
“We also replaced furnaces that were approximately 70 percent efficient with Lennox units that were 92 percent efficient,” McLean added. His company has provided HVAC maintenance services to Opportunity Enterprises for the last decade, and the contractor was fully aware of the older equipment’s limitations.
“Bloomfield helped us look at all our options, and maintaining our facility’s older systems, or replacing them as they failed, would have been much more expensive than replacing them all at once,” said Elizabeth Metts, grant specialist for Opportunity Enterprises. “Our agency owed a balance of $83,500 for the equipment and labor, but we still expect to see a substantial amount of money saved, as well as a much smaller environmental footprint for our facility.”
The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and administered by the Indiana Office of Energy Development. (For more information, visit www.energy.in.gov.) To qualify for the grant, the contractor and nonprofit worked with Chris Drury and Brian Head of Lennox Industries to determine if the organization was a good candidate for replacement.
“We used Lennox’ Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) calculator to determine there were significant financial and CO2 savings possible by replacing the older equipment with Energence rooftop units, which are the industry’s highest-efficiency rooftop units,” Drury explained. “We provided the TCO calculations to help Opportunity Enterprises justify the project.”
The grant requires Opportunity Enterprises to use an online program to track energy savings with the new equipment. The program will compare gas and electric usage before and after the new Lennox units were installed.
Opportunity Enterprises serves 1,000 people in northwest Indiana with employment, enrichment and residential services. Founded in 1967, the agency serves adults and children with developmental, emotional and/ or physical disabilities. It has an annual budget of $14.5 million.