Case Study: The City of Port St. Lucie Energy Efficiency Program

Hill York’s Energy Solutions Group spearheaded a comprehensive energy savings program to help the City of Port St. Lucie save in excess of $154,000 a year in energy costs at their main municipal complex.

Project Name and Location: City of Port St. Lucie | 121 SW Port St. Lucie Blvd., Port St. Lucie, FL 34984
Client/Owner Contact: Daniel Holbrook | Project Manager | City of Port St. Lucie | 772.871.5213
Completion Date: June 2013

Project Scope: Like many municipalities across the country, the City of Port St. Lucie faced the challenge of improving the infrastructure of an aging building portfolio with fixed or shrinking financial resources. City officials were seeking significant long-term energy savings as a funding vehicle for the improvements. The challenge: To achieve the lowest life cycle operating costs with a limited upfront capital budget. As a leader in energy solutions, Hill York was brought in to help the City meet the challenge. Utilizing a co-authored approach to program development, Hill York worked with the City and their team to design and implement a self-funding program that produced tremendous life cycle benefits. After completing efficiency assessments on chillers at three City facilities – City Hall, the Public Works building, and the Police Department headquarters – the team began a series of critical upgrades to slash existing operating expenses and return cash to the budget. Considered the heart of the $7.1 million project, Hill York designed and built a centralized chilled water plant that utilized premium efficiency chillers. Among the most efficient models on the market, the chillers utilize frictionless magnetic bearing technology. Since the energy savings associated with the design was so remarkable, it enabled the City to replace several inefficiency units that were at the end of their useful lives.

Beyond the Central Energy Plant at the Municipal Complex, additional projects were implemented throughout the City to further reduce operating expenses. Hill York installed premium efficiency air conditioning systems in four additional City buildings. Technicians installed demand-based kitchen hood ventilation systems at the City-run golf course and Civic Center. The systems were designed to monitor cooking activity and control system operation according to need. The cost-saving solution transformed grossly inefficient ventilation systems that ran at full capacity when enabled to ones that greatly reduced building cooling loads and energy use during times they are ramped down. With Hill York’s Energy Solutions Group spearheading six energy conservation measures in all, the City of Port St. Lucie is projected to save in excess of $154,000 a year in energy costs. The City will also realize an average annual operations and maintenance savings of approximately $39,000 from the superior life expectancy and durability of the new equipment. Capping off the self-funding project, City officials called it “an absolute victory for the City and taxpayers,” the upfront costs of the comprehensive energy efficiency improvements were further offset by rebates from Florida Power & Light.

Download: The City of Port St. Lucie Energy Efficiency Program Case Study (PDF)