Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

Energy Department Recognizes Organizations for Leadership in Rooftop Unit Efficiency

April 26, 2016

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As part of the Administration's strategy to increase energy productivity and cut energy waste in our nation's buildings, today the U.S. Department of Energy recognized six organizations for their leadership in replacing and upgrading rooftop units as part of the Better Buildings Alliance Rooftop Unit Campaign (ARC). Combined, these organizations in a single year have saved an estimated 1 trillion British thermal units (Btu) or more than $11 million on utility costs with efficient rooftop unit (RTU) replacements, retrofits, and quality management and operations. Since 2013, 250 ARC partners have upgraded 59,500 RTUs for a total energy savings of 10 trillion Btu, or $93 million in cost savings.

A building's cooling and ventilating energy consumption can be reduced between 20–50% when aging equipment is replaced with high-efficiency units or retrofitted with advanced controls. In fact, a building owner can save as much as $3,700 per RTU—equivalent to $6.7 billion and 670 trillion Btu annually.

The following organizations are being recognized this year for their innovative RTU management approaches that led to significant energy savings in commercial buildings:

  • Arby's Restaurant Group, Inc. made 238 high-efficiency RTU replacements across 900 stores, resulting in an estimated savings of 1.4 million kWh, worth $140,000 annually. It's the most innovative RTU management approach by a participating partner.
  • Giant Tiger Stores Limited had the largest efficiency gain for a single building RTU replacement project, a 63% installed efficiency gain with 41% (30 Tons) capacity reduction.
  • Southern California Edison upgraded 4,679 high-efficiency RTUs and 400 advanced RTU control retrofits, resulting in an estimated savings of 31 million kWh, worth $4.7 million annually.
  • Target Corporation upgraded 532 RTUs, resulting in an estimated savings of 10 million KWh, worth $1 million annually. This is the most innovative, comprehensive RTU operations approach by a partner for enabling large reductions in installed capacity and includes centralized and optimized control of RTUs.
  • Walmart Stores, Inc. upgraded 5,919 RTUs—the highest number of high-efficiency RTU installations—resulting in an estimated savings of 50 million kWh, worth $5 million annually.
  • Whole Foods Market retrofitted 839 advanced control retrofits—the highest number of advanced RTU control retrofits—resulting in an estimated savings of 7.6 million kWh, worth $747,000 annually. Whole Foods had the highest number of RTU installations that meet and exceed RTU challenge specification, 12 highest efficiency RTUs, with an estimated savings of 120,000 kWh, worth $12,000 annually.

The Better Buildings Alliance technology campaigns, like ARC, involve public and private sector organizations across the country working together to share and replicate positive gains in energy efficiency and catalyze change and investment in energy efficiency. Through Better Buildings, the Energy Department is working to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings 20% more energy efficient over the next decade. This increased efficiency would save billions of dollars on energy bills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create thousands of jobs.  Read more about Better Buildings' partner results, and the innovative solutions being shared with others in the Better Buildings Solution Center.