ESL honors five "Mega Energy Savers," Turner
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Five clients of the Energy Systems Laboratory, including Texas A&M University, were presented with Mega Energy Saver Awards during a ceremony Thursday afternoon at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum Complex. The Energy Systems Laboratory (ESL) and Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) honored the clients, who have together saved more than $300 million. Each client has saved more than $1 million in utility costs while working with ESL in enhanced building operations, Continuous Commissioning(r) and energy efficiency improvement programs. The five honorees were: Alamo Community College District (San Antonio); Texas State Energy Conservation Office (Austin); Texas Health and Human Services Commission (Austin); U.S. Army Medical Command (Ft. Sam Houston); and Texas A&M University. Texas A&M, through its "Campus-wide Metering, Retrofits and Continuous Commissioning(r) Program" has saved more than $50 million since 1996 with assistance from the ESL engineers. "We are pleased to have the opportunity to work on this program with Texas A&M," said outgoing ESL director Dr. W. Dan Turner. Dr. Ray Bowen, President Emeritus of Texas A&M, said, "I have been told that in the last 10 years we have added 4 million square-feet of space on campus, but our energy consumption has gone down." The Texas State Energy Conservation Office based in Austin, has experienced the greatest savings while working with ESL. Through its "LoanSTAR Retrofit Program" the company has provided loans that resulted in utility savings of more than $250 million. Turner, who has been director of ESL for the past 22 years, was honored during the ceremony for the achievements of the center under his guidance. Turner is stepping down as director and will be replaced by Dr. David Claridge. Also during the event, Dr. Lee Peddicord, newly appointed director of TEES, announced the establishment of a campus working group to investigate the building of a highly energy-efficient facility on the A&M campus. The proposed super-high-efficient facility would use sustainable design features, materials and renewable energy. It would serve as a model for The Texas A&M University System and the commercial building industry at-large. It would be used as a showplace, a living laboratory for advancing building research, as well as future office space for the rapidly growing ESL staff and engineers. The building would also house a new Energy Efficient Building Technology Application Center, if the ESL is awarded a pending US Department of Energy grant. ESL began as a fan-testing laboratory in 1939 and since 1985 has focused on building energy-related research, energy efficiency and emissions reduction estimates, and has a total annual income for external research and testing, exceeding $5 million. ESL is a division of TEES, which is a member of The Texas A&M University System.