WESTBOROUGH, MA--(Marketwired - Apr 20, 2017) - Save Energy Systems, an energy-efficiency services company that reduces HVAC expenses for businesses in the commercial and industrial sector, recently completed a comprehensive retrofit of dozens of corporate-owned health clubs across the United States and Canada. The announcement was made at the 2017 Planet Fitness Independent Franchisee Association (PFIFA) Convention (booth #415).
By installing its patented demand-limiting controller (DLC) to control the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) system in each location, Save Energy Systems reduced the energy bill of each location by an average of 18 percent. With 52 installations now completed, the majority during 2016, the combination of the DLC systems and a limited number LED lighting retrofits reduced the overall energy bill of this international fitness franchise by more than $450,000 in 2016 -- with even more energy savings anticipated this calendar year.
Ad-hoc, local HVAC management and uncoordinated AC units drove up energy costs
Maintaining a perfect climate in any fitness center is singularly difficult. The combination of highly active occupants, electrical equipment, bright lighting, and rooms of differing temperature requirements (workout vs. stretching vs. locker rooms, for example) pose unique challenges for a traditional HVAC approach.
Save Energy Systems evaluated the potential for energy usage reduction at these locations, most of which operate 4-7 AC units, each with its own thermostat. The team quickly identified the fastest path to energy savings: reduce costly demand charges by centralizing monitoring and control of the HVAC systems at all locations.
While each location's HVAC thermostats had been preset at installation, years ago, many were now being managed by club managers, who frequently set them either too high or too low -- often in response to member complaints. And if a unit was not working, managers were unaware until member grievances surfaced. Compounding the problem: managers would override the set schedule, thinking they were correcting the problem, while the real issue was a malfunctioning unit.
As is normal with standard thermostats, each would try to satisfy the temperature in a specific zone, unaware of its impact on the demand portion of the utility bill, so if all the units were operating simultaneously, the utility company would bill the maximum demand charge. The new DLC controllers installed by Save Energy Systems at each location manage all units concurrently and relative to one another, limiting the peak demand usage and the corresponding demand charge on the utility bill.
DLC's precise zone control and fully automated operation reduce overall HVAC load
For each location, Save Energy Systems upgraded the HVAC control system to include its patented demand-limiting controller (DLC), an intelligent networked system that automatically manages HVAC energy consumption, including demand, kWh use, and overall HVAC load during peak hours. More than just a programmable thermostat or a monitoring system, the DLC system precisely controls the operation of all units at any location. It prevents all units from running simultaneously, while independently managing each unit's fan and compressor to maintain a comfortable temperature in each location's different zones.
Save Energy Systems also networked each location into a central hub, providing an Internet of Things (IoT) approach that enables facilities managers at national franchise headquarters to monitor each location, and receive alerts when any HVAC unit is operating outside of a defined range.
Reduced energy costs and a comfortable environment for members
With 52 locations already retrofitted with the Save Energy Systems DLC technology in the past year, feedback from club managers has been extremely positive. And beyond member comfort, the franchise operator has already saved more than $450,000 when compared to previous energy bills.
In addition to the significant energy savings, reduced carbon footprint and reduced energy bills, Alan Buell, who heads up construction at the head office, also appreciates the benefits of centralized control and diagnostics that the DLC system offers. "What I'm hearing from our locations around the country is that the internal climate is now consistently precise, with little variation from the set point. This is good for our members and good for our bottom line," said Buell. "The team at Save Energy Systems has provided excellent support and guidance throughout this project, and has gone far beyond the call of duty to provide crucial feedback on the equipment condition at each facility."
"It's been a pleasure to work with such an environmentally conscientious corporation that is committed to maximizing returns to their investors while providing the best for their club members," said Paul Laskow, CEO of Save Energy Systems. "The DLC enables any large fitness franchise to control and minimize its energy costs while ensuring members enjoy an ideal environment. It's a win for everyone."
About Save Energy Systems
Founded in 2011, Save Energy Systems provides small to medium-size commercial facilities with automated, intelligent control and optimization of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. Many of the features found in more expensive building energy-management systems (BEMS) are incorporated into our system, only at a fraction of the cost. The patented Demand-Limiting Controller (DLC) was initially developed to address the needs of facility owner/operators struggling to control rising energy costs using standard programmable thermostats. Today, the DLC has been approved by utilities as a viable technology that qualifies for energy-efficiency incentive rebates. To learn more, visit www.saveenergysystems.com.