Johnson Controls, a multi-industrial company with businesses in the automotive, building and energy storage industries, will help the University of Akron cut the energy consumed across campus and reinvest those savings into university upgrades. Initially, the university will save about 20 percent by 2016. Overall, the 15-year contract is projected to result in more than $58 million through streamlined operational and energy savings.

The program will allow the university to meet the state’s goal of reducing energy consumption by 20 percent in 2014. This initiative will also put the university in a leadership position by using energy-saving technology and conservation.

“This project allows us to meet our goals to drastically reduce energy consumption across campus while addressing critical deferred maintenance needs,” said Ralph Morrone, director of engineering, energy and sustainability at the University of Akron. “Our partners worked closely with our top notch operations team to build a strong project that saves money while improving our academic environment---all on a scale that we could not possibly design, implement or manage with our current staffing levels.”

The program expects to reduce electrical, gas and water consumption and annually save the university about $4 million in energy and operational expenses. Those savings will pay for the energy upgrades as well as other needed maintenance throughout the campus.

The program uses a guaranteed energy performance contract. That means the upgrades will be paid for by the savings in energy and utility costs over the term of the contract. The university will not pay upfront costs and Johnson Controls guarantees the contracted savings. The company has been engaged in more than 2,500 performance contracting projects with guaranteed savings of $7.5 billion.

“This is one of the largest upgrade programs of its kind,” said Dave Peters, regional vice president and general manager for Johnson Controls, Building Efficiency. “By using this type of financing the university can reduce its energy use, enhance the campus environment and shrink its carbon footprint–-all while conserving financial resources.”

The project includes significant upgrades and optimization of specific laboratory environments, advanced analytics for monitoring energy and mechanical equipment and an expanded integrated demand response program. In addition, there will be lighting, water and mechanical upgrades as well as improvements to building envelopes.

Johnson Controls’ building management system, Metasys, will be combined with its Panoptix cloud-based system to collect building data and offer improved visibility into building operations to optimize energy savings and building performance.

Johnson Controls partnered with the Brewer Garrett Company to develop and execute this project with the university. Both organizations worked closely with the University of Akron’s technical team to develop solutions. Student interns will help execute the project, giving them hands-on experience and training.

University of Akron has more than 27,000 students and offers in excess of 300 undergraduate and graduate programs. Located in metropolitan Akron, the university has more than 80 buildings on 218 acres. Since 2000, it has added 22 buildings, completed 18 major additions, acquisitions and renovations, and created 34 acres of green space.