TECO Peoples Gas recently hosted the Energy Solutions Center (ESC) March 2016 Technology and Market Assessment Forum in Tampa. More than 300 attendees came from across North America to network, share natural gas utility-related information and case studies, and hear from national account clients, equipment manufacturers, and other organizations in the energy industry.
At a special luncheon during the conference, Peoples Gas presented the ESC Partnership awards and highlighted Innovative Energy Solutions within the residential construction, commercial, institutional and transportation markets.
The first award went to CalAtlantic Homes, formerly Ryland and Standard Pacific Homes, for its commitment to building with energy-efficient natural gas, even when the investment comes with certain challenges. One of CalAtlantic’s newest master-planned communities is in Wesley Chapel, Florida – Estancia at Wiregrass. Estancia was built with features like those found in custom homes, including distinct amenities and natural gas appliances such as energy-efficient Noritz tankless water heaters, high-end cooktops, instantaneous fireplaces and stunning outdoor kitchens. The strategic move allows homebuyers to enjoy affordable luxury while saving on energy costs. Darrell Reneau, residential business development manager for Peoples Gas, presented the award to Tom Spence, senior vice president of land development for CalAtlantic Homes, Brad Hopkins of Integrity Sales and Beau McCleod of Noritz.
The second award for innovative energy projects went to Hillsborough Area Regional Transit (HART) for the conversion of its van and bus fleet to compressed natural gas. HART wanted to lower its annual transportation fuel costs while reducing dependence on foreign oil. Peoples Gas worked with HART to develop a CNG fueling station to serve its entire fleet of nearly 230 vehicles. The transition to natural gas will save an estimated $2.5 million in fuel costs over the next nine years and cut greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 252 tons per year. Keith Gruetzmacher, senior manager of alternative fuel vehicles programs with Peoples Gas, presented the award to Lynda Crescentini, program manager with HART.
The next award went to MVP Holdings, headquartered in Tampa. MVP Holdings creates high-end quick service restaurants and has quickly established itself with its PDQ and WOW! That’s Fresh brands. PDQ has more than 50 locations throughout Florida, Georgia, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas. MVP Holdings began working with Peoples Gas in 2014 to collaborate on energy opportunities like incorporating energy-efficient natural gas into the operations, capturing utility rebates when available in various markets, leveraging cost savings from third-party energy supply contracts and coordinating construction schedules to ensure timely access to natural gas service. Within the last year, MVP Holdings has received more than $100,000 in utility rebates. Joann Wehle, director of marketing and sales for Peoples Gas, presented the award to Court Wolbe, CEO of MVP Holdings, and Kristen Horn, account executive with Johnson-Lancaster and Associates, commercial foodservice equipment contractor for MVP.
The fourth and final award recognized the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital for its long-term energy conservation initiative. Peoples Gas worked with the VA to develop and finance a $19.6-million project to help meet the hospital’s aggressive energy reduction goals over the next decade. The expansive Utility Energy Services Contract outlines specific strategies like energy-efficient lighting retrofits, motion-controlled lighting, bacteria-killing ultraviolet lighting to keep air conditioning units clean, steam system upgrades, chiller retrofits and replacements, solar water heating, and water conservation technologies. The measures are expected to annually create more than $2 million in annual cost savings for the hospital, reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 12,000 tons and nitrous oxide by 33,000 tons, and reduce water usage by 103,000 gallons over the next 10 years. Ralph Terrell, senior project manager with TECO, presented the award to Rick Durab, energy manager with the Tampa VA, Dan Townsend, senior project engineer with Energy Systems Group, and Navena Iordanova with Armstrong, manufacturer of steam traps and other steam system devices.
“Peoples Gas is proud to have worked with such forward-thinking partners on these natural gas projects,” said Bruce Narzissenfeld, vice president at Peoples Gas. “It’s rewarding that together we can use the many pluses of natural gas to benefit all the companies involved as well as the community and our environment.”