Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is proactive in energy-saving practices when planning repair and maintenance projects and tracking energy consumption.
The Austin Annex Cooling Tower Replacement was completed in July 2022. The Austin Main Building Management System Upgrade project was carried over from fiscal year 2021 to fiscal 2022 and is in closeout. The Austin Annex Window/Glazing Replacement is scheduled for completion in November 2022, and TWC expects to see decreases in energy consumption in the coming year. The McAllen Roof Replacement was reevaluated for optimization, carried over, and redesignated the McAllen Roof and HVAC/BMS Replacement.
TWC identified five energy-saving projects in the fiscal 2022 EWMP. The projects include:
- Building Management System Network Upgrade (McKinney, Martin Luther King
Warehouse, Mopac and Trinity buildings).
- McAllen Roof and HVAC/BMS Replacement.
- Fort Worth Chiller Replacement.
- Austin Trinity HVAC Replacement.
- Austin Main Window/Glazing.
The BMS Network Upgrade (McKinney, Martin Luther King Warehouse, Mopac and Trinity buildings) is in solicitation. The McAllen Roof and HVAC/BMS Replacement project was revised from a roof replacement to include HVAC and BMS upgrades, has been awarded, and is in submittal phase. The Fort Worth Chiller Replacement is in the planning stages. The Austin Trinity HVAC Replacement is in the planning phases. TWC has made a business decision to postpone the Austin Main Window/Glazing project until a new budget year, fiscal 2024-2025, due to bids exceeding the original budgeted cost estimate.
TWC has been recognized for its practices by the award of Energy Star® ratings on six of the 24 agency-owned buildings (AOBs). Due to pandemic changes in facility staffing, TWC is in process of updating the Numbers of Workers and Numbers of Computers by facility, with intent to resume the Energy Star® Application process in fiscal 2023.
In fiscal 2022, two primary factors have affected energy consumption. A significant percentage of staff have continued to return to working in the office rather than teleworking. Also, Texas experienced its sixth hottest year on record, along with extreme and exceptional drought in much of the state, resulting in increased electricity and water usage. TWC exceeded its goals in reducing energy consumption, as follows:
- Total electricity usage was 10.14 million kilowatt hours (kWh), which represents a two percent decrease from fiscal 2021, 11 percent lower than projected.
- Total water usage was 9.46 million gallons, which represents a six percent decrease from fiscal 2021, 26 percent lower than projected.
- Total natural gas usage was 5,984 thousand cubic feet (MCF), which represents a 12 percent decrease from fiscal 2021, 35 percent lower than projected.
TWC expects usage to continue to increase as more staff return to their offices. TWC will report usage updates on a quarterly basis during fiscal 2023.
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STRATEGY FOR ACHIEVING GOALS
To meet conservation goals summarized in this plan, TWC will prioritize and implement strategies as follows:
- Continue installation and upgrade of Building Management System (BMS) software. BMS will be upgraded in the Austin Trinity, Mopac, MLK, McKinney, and McAllen facilities. BMS allows TWC to monitor systems to identify needed improvements.
- Replace light fixtures with energy efficient lighting.
- Replace equipment with energy efficient equipment models on a continuous basis.
- Use energy and water conservation design standards adopted by SECO in accordance with 34 Tex. Admin. Code §§ 19.31 – 19.34.
- Install energy-efficient roofing when roof replacement is needed.
- Conduct energy-related activities on a set schedule as outlined in the TWC Facilities Master Plan (FMP):
- Electrical Testing and Repairs.
- Envelope and Water Penetration Inspections and Repairs.
- Sprinkler Systems Testing and Repairs.
- Gas/Plumbing Testing and Repairs.
- HVAC/Boiler Inspections for proper functionality.
- Roof Inspections and Repairs.
- Structural Inspections.
- Engage in competitive utility procurement, where available. The following contracts help support TWC’s goals to reduce energy consumption.
- SECO, in conjunction with the Council on Competitive Governments, contracts with ENGIE Insight Services, Inc. (ENGIE) to assist TWC with energy needs, decision making, and renegotiating energy contracts in deregulated areas. ENGIE analyzes utility bills and monitors TWC’s energy and water usage. ENGIE contracts with TXU Energy Retail Company, LLC (TXU Energy) for lower rates.
- TWC participates in a statewide consortium via an Interagency Contract (IAC) with the General Land Office (GLO) to purchase natural gas produced on state-owned land. This arrangement allows TWC to purchase natural gas from GLO at reduced rates for all Austin AOBs and one leased site. TWC will expand this contract to new sites for which this is available.
- Activate power management settings that turn off or reduce use of networked IT assets based on business hours and periods of low use.
- Turn off lights in unused offices, conference rooms, hallways, etc., at peak hours, where feasible, especially during triple-digit heat days.
The following projects are expected to reduce energy consumption:
- Austin Annex Window/Glazing Replacement is scheduled to be completed in Dec. 2022.
- Building Management System Network Upgrade (McKinney, Martin Luther King Warehouse, Mopac and Trinity buildings) is scheduled to be completed in Feb. 2024.
- McAllen Roof and HVAC/BMS Replacement is scheduled to be completed in Feb. 2024.
- Fort Worth Chiller Replacement is scheduled to be completed in July 2024.
- Austin Trinity HVAC Replacement project is in the planning stages with completion tentatively scheduled for July 2025.
- Austin Main Window/Glazing project has been postponed until fiscal 2024-2025 due to bids exceeding the original budgeted cost estimate.
Monthly energy usage and cost are tracked in the TWC Energy Star® Portfolio.
AGENCY FINANCE STRATEGY
TWC identifies and prioritizes maintenance and repair projects for energy efficiency as part of its Legislative Appropriation Request (LAR). As part of the LAR, projected federal and state funds are identified to implement the projects for the next biennium. TWC is approximately 85% federally funded, and federal funds make up the majority of funding for maintenance projects. The total budget allocations are as follows:
Total Budgets for Repair and Maintenance
- Fiscal 2023 Capital Projects - $10,113,764 (includes $1,738,590 for CCRC).
- Fiscal 2023 Facility Related Maintenance and Repairs - $2,502,391.
Cost estimates for upcoming fiscal23 projects that impact energy consumption are included below.
Estimated Cost of FY23 Projects with Energy Usage Impact
- Austin Annex Window/Glazing Replacement - $3,906,800.
- BMS Network Upgrade (4 facilities) - $627,825.
- McAllen Roof and HVAC/BMS Replacement -$2,746,650.
- Fort Worth Chiller Replacement -$534,541 .
- Austin Trinity – HVAC Replacement -$3,330,888.
EMPLOYEE AWARENESS PLAN
TWC will send an annual communication to all employees about ways to conserve energy and solicit employee feedback for new energy-savings ideas. Tips and ideas for conserving energy are also accessible to all employees on the TWC SharePoint at Energy Saving Tips (sharepoint.com).