School District Saves Money in Energy While Improving Education


The South Pemiscot County R-V School District in Steele, Mo., has implemented a $2.75 million performance contract that will save the district an estimated $140,000 in utility costs annually. The Energy Solutions division of TAC, a provider of building automation, security systems and energy solutions, is installing a variety of energy-saving measures at the high school, elementary schools\ and the district administration building.

Facilities in the South Pemiscot School District range in age from 10 to 90 years old, and many of the buildings have outdated and inefficient equipment. Other problems include poor lighting; heating and cooling loss through the windows; older interior wood doors and damaged metal exterior doors that compromise security; and no centralized control of the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in the schools. The district looked to performance contracting for a financially responsible solution for their aging buildings.

The energy-saving improvements consist of implementing a district-wide energy management system (EMS), installing energy-efficient windows and lighting, and making mechanical system retrofits. Workers will also install a new and expanded fire alarm system to improve safety and will replace interior and exterior doors. Drop ceilings and enclosures will be placed around the existing HVAC equipment to improve the classroom aesthetics.

“Students, faculty and other staff at the South Pemiscot County Schools will enjoy a better learning and working environment as a result of these facility updates,” said Wes McDaniel, vice president of TAC Energy Solutions.

“The new TAC Vista EMS will enable the facility staff to precisely monitor and control the HVAC in all the schools; the updated lighting will provide for brighter spaces, and the replacement windows will eliminate the infiltration of un-conditioned outside air that creates uncomfortable rooms.”

As part of the Performance Contract, TAC guarantees that the South Pemiscot County School District will save at least $140,000 annually, or TAC will pay the difference.            

GE, Nichia Join to Push LEDs

General Electric Co. (GE), through its Consumer & Industrial Lighting business, and the Nichia Corp. announced a strategic alliance agreement to support GELcore LLC, based in Cleveland. Formed in 1999, GELcore was previously a joint venture between GE and the Emcore Corp. of Somerset, N.J. GE purchased Emcore’s 49 percent interest in the joint venture for $100 million, demonstrating its ongoing commitment to invest in light emitting diode (LED) technology and the future of lighting.

This agreement combines GELcore’s LED system in the transportation, signage, specialty illumination and general illumination segments with Nichia’s extensive phosphor and optoelectronics products, such as LEDs. Both companies expect to benefit significantly from each other’s expertise and penetrate the high-growth LED general illumination segment.              

Communications Testing Tools For Rent

Electro Rent Corp. has added broadband test tools from JDSU to its equipment inventory.

“Communications companies can now rent JDSU’s most advanced communications testing equipment for periods of one week to three years,” said Gary Phillips, senior vice president of Electro Rent. “The addition to our equipment pool of JDSU’s T-BERD/MTS 8000, ONT 506 and HST 3000 products expands Electro Rent’s support of testing applications to include laboratory SDH/SONET testing to 40 gigabits, gigabit Ethernet testing to 1- gigabits, field testing for SDH/SONET and GigE, and FTTx field testing.”        

NEMA Publishes Standards for Conduit, Luminaires, Distribution Equipment

The National Electrical Manufacturing Association (NEMA) has published RV 3-2006, LE 4-2006 and KS 2-2006. They have been written to improve compatibility, operations and safety.

RV 3-2006, Application and Installation Guidelines for Flexible and Liquidtight Flexible Metal Conduits, offers practical information on correct usage and industry recommended practices for the installation of flexible metal conduit (Type FMC) and liquidtight flexible metal conduit (Type LFMC) in accordance with the National Electrical Code (NEC).

The purpose of LE 4-2006, Recessed Luminaires, Ceiling Compatibility, is to establish standardized dimensions for recessed luminaires that, if adhered to, will ensure compatibility with conventional generic ceiling suspension systems. Compatibility, as referred to in this standard, means that luminaires will be designed to fit into ceiling systems without causing distortion or misalignment of ceiling members and in such a manner as to ensure their proper support within the ceiling in accordance with the NEC.

Compatibility further means that a luminaire will be placed in support systems in a symmetrical manner without oversized gaps existing between the luminaire and ceiling tiles or ceiling suspension members. The standard contains definitions, dimensions and tolerances for recessed luminaires designed to use fluorescent, high-intensity discharge and incandescent light sources.

KS 2-2006, Distribution Equipment Switch Application and Maintenance Guide, A User’s Reference, is a guide of practical information containing instructions for the proper installation, operation and maintenance of distribution equipment switches rated 600 volts or less. It covers application and maintenance information for distribution equipment switches that are:

  • Rated at not more than 600V and 6,000A with or without a horse-power rating
  • With or without provision for fuses
  • With current-carrying parts and mechanisms enclosed in metallic or non-metallic cases, or that are enclosed when mounted in an enclosed switchboard, panelboard, or the like
  • Manually operable by means of external handles.

Standards may be viewed or a hardcopy may be purchased for $49 by visiting; or by contacting Global Engineering Documents at 800.854.7179 (within the United States), 303. 397.7956 (international).     

NREL Constructs New Research Facility

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has selected J.E. Dunn Rocky Mountain Construction to design and construct the first phase of the laboratory’s new Research Support Facilities (RSF) in Golden, Colo. The value of the contract is $9.4 million, appropriated by the Energy and Water Development Subcommittee of the U.S. Congress in fiscal year 2006.

The RSF will integrate energy-saving design and building practices, and it will showcase the latest renewable energy and energy-efficiency technology advances. The RSF will explore the limits of cost-competitive, high-performance building design and construction while striving to achieve a platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating.

The RSF will consist of several modules designed and constructed sequentially, with the number of modules subject to funding availability. The modules will be built on NREL’s main campus across from the Laboratory’s Solar Energy Research Facility and are expected to house as many as 780 employees.

“The Research Support Facility is a critical piece in the development of NREL’s campus as a showcase for renewable energy and energy-efficiency innovation. This building will be one more example of how the Department of Energy and NREL put into practice the technologies developed at the laboratory,” Director Dan Arvizu said. 

The contract started last month, and construction is expected to be completed in July 2008.

NREL’s newest building, the Science & Technology Facility, opened July 7. It is on track for a Gold LEED rating and recently was awarded the Jefferson County (Colo.) Commissioners’ Award for Design Excellence.

NREL is the DOE’s primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy-efficiency research and development. Midwest Research Institute and Battelle operates the NREL for the DOE.

For more information, contact NREL Public Affairs at 303.275.4090.





Stay Informed Join our Newsletter

Having trouble finding time to sit down with the latest issue of
ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR? Don't worry, we'll come to you.