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Energy Efficient Buildings
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Energy Projects 

  • Working to make Broward County facilities more energy efficient, the Energy and Building Automation Section applies standards in the purchase and installation of equipment during the design or renovation of owned and leased space. Our Energy Engineers constantly audit and maintain a record of the 4.3 million conditioned square feet of County facility space to uncover energy conservation opportunities. As of March 1998, installed lighting projects alone represent a total electric demand reduction of 1,478 kW and a reduced annual consumption of 5,628,693 kWh. Once the measures are identified, we use life-cycle costing to propose energy upgrades and manage the capital projects from budgeting to vendor selection through final construction. For large scale projects, such as energy performance contracts, we offer our expertise to county agencies with technical assistance, project management, measurement and verification of savings.

Energy Performance Contracts

  • In 1994, Broward County entered into its first energy performance contract to improve the Judicial Complex encompassing the Main Courthouse, Midrise Building and the newly built North and East Wings. Energy conservation measures installed in these facilities included lighting upgrades, chiller replacements, electric motors with variable frequency drives, and the largest installation of heat pipes in one building in the United States. Investments were made to improve the back-up generation system that allowed for a reduced-rate structure with our local electric utility. A total investment of $2.9 million was made in this project which is expected to generate savings of $4.2 million over the guaranteed ten year period.
  • An investment of $3.1 million in the energy-efficient upgrades were made in the Governmental Center and various other buildings with a guaranteed savings of $3.5 million. Improvements in the energy performance contract were completed in early 1997 and included lighting upgrades, chiller replacements, electric motors with variable frequency drives, and improvements to the back-up generation system allowing for a reduced-rate structure with our local electric utility. Buildings included in the project were the Government Center Building and Annex, Public Safety Building, Broward Sheriff Office District 5 Station, West and South Regional Courthouses.
  • Completed in early 1998, the Libraries energy performance contract represents an investment of $2.2 million in building upgrades with a guaranteed savings of $3 million more in 10 years. The project included light upgrades, chiller replacements, electric motors with variable frequency drives, and improvements to the back-up generation system allowing for a reduced-rate structure. At the East Regional Library in Fort Lauderdale, a thermal storage system was installed to further reduce energy costs. The system, which is one of few applications in our area, produces ice at night time when energy costs are lower and stores it for use during the daytime in the chilled water cooling system for the building. Our facilities use computerized Building Automation Systems to effectively control the operational expenses.
  • With the previous success of these projects, a number of Broward County agencies have acknowledged the advantages of energy performance contracting and are eager to participate. For instance, the Broward Sheriff's Office entered the auditing phase of their project to uncover energy conservation measures for all of their detention facilities. Additionally, the Office of Environmental Services Wastewater Treatment began initial steps to make similar upgrades within their operation.

Energy Accounting 

  • Beyond our activities with equipment installations, we monitor and maintain a computer software program dedicated for tracking utility-related activities. The Broward County Commission has more than 800 separate accounts with Florida Power and Light and receives billings from each of these accounts on a monthly basis. Our system was set up to track these accounts as well as billings from our water usage and natural gas.
  • The energy accounting system is central to our efforts and it benefits all agencies dealing with utility budgets by validating bills as they are processed. Information is compiled in a useful reporting format and is useful in managing utility expenses through tracking and forecasting consumption while preventing errors in bill payments. The system is utilized to verify performance contract savings and measure environmental impact.
  • To improve our performance in this area, we recently upgraded the DOS version format of the software to the more powerful windows version. Broward County has invested capital establishing this system and we will continue to ensure it maintains accurate information through timely updates and expert systems management.
  • Along with the internal accounting system, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) was implemented which transfers account information electronically resulting in quicker and more reliable payments and usage tracking.

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