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JBSA News
NEWS | Jan. 24, 2013

JBSA-Randolph earns 6-figure rebate from CPS Energy

By Alex Salinas Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph Public Affairs

CPS Energy rewarded Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph its largest rebate ever of $154,000 for energy savings that result from newly replaced water chillers in Bldg. 991.

The chillers have 550- and 450-ton chilling capacities each and are part of a plant that is interconnected with other buildings around JBSA-Randolph to send cooled water into pipes, which helps create air conditioning. These chillers will save 871,516 kilowatt-hours per year, which is equivalent to the energy used in 48 homes year-round, and will account for an annual 30 percent savings from the previous models, about $53,000 per year.

The project to replace the older machinery was completed in November, when civil engineer officials applied for the rebate, Ruben Ramos, JBSA-Randolph energy manager, said.

The 450-ton capacity unit that was replaced is a modular chiller, which was built in Houston, Texas, tested by a lab and shipped − all 55,000 pounds − to JBSA-Randolph, Bruce Dschuden, JBSA resource efficiency manager, said.

"We called it a chiller in a box," he said. "Once it arrived, it was up and running in two weeks − a 'plug-and-play' − which makes this pretty unique."

To meet the government-mandated standard to reduce overall energy costs 30 percent by 2015, where JBSA-Randolph is currently at 22 percent, the new chillers are just the first of various energy reduction efforts planned for this year.

"We have eight projects under consideration for funding for fiscal year 2014," Dschuden said.

Projects in the works include retro-commissioning, which is the process that seeks to improve how building equipment and systems function together, adding reflective roofing for certain buildings, replacing decrepit pneumatic tubing with electronic systems and high-efficiency lighting installations.

The projects, which would collectively cost $6.9 million, are expected to save JBSA-Randolph more than 12 million kilowatt-hours, or $998,000 per year.

This means the installation could see yield from the total cost in less than a decade, which represents a strong savings-to-investment ratio, Ramos said.

For now the team will use what was a phenomenal energy-savings year in 2012 and move forward.

"Collectively, we're at three-quarters to a million dollars in rebates since 2009," Dschuden said. "Whenever there's a rebate, we'll go after it," which will be credited and used for other projects and repairs.