How much could you save by replacing your inefficient rooftop units? Find out from these award-winning companies

by Brianna Crandall — May 15, 2019 — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is recognizing eight organizations for their leadership in the Better Buildings Initiative’s Advanced Rooftop Unit Campaign (ARC). Since the Campaign’s inception in 2013, more than 350 participants have impacted 160,000 rooftop units (RTUs), saving $110 million and more than 1 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) annually.

The Advanced RTU Campaign provides technical resources and recognition to commercial building owners, managers, and operators who want to increase building performance and upgrade rooftop units to high-efficiency RTU technologies. ARC works in close liaison with manufacturers, utilities, energy efficiency organizations, and contractors who contribute to the Campaign’s success. Through ARC and other initiatives, DOE supports research and development (R&D) for new RTU technologies.

Although payback periods can vary, a well-implemented replacement or retrofit of rooftop units with advanced controls can have a payback of one to four years, according to DOE.

The following organizations are recognized this year for their considerable high-efficiency RTU achievements:

Participant and Supporter Awards

  • Walgreens: Greatest number of high-efficiency rooftop unit installations and advanced RTU control retrofits for a large portfolio owner. Walgreens installed 4,373 rooftop units with high-efficiency units and controls, resulting in more than 39 million kWh annual energy savings.
  • H&M: Greatest number of high-efficiency RTU installations and advanced RTU control retrofits for a medium portfolio owner. H&M installed 541 RTUs and controls, resulting in more than 4 million kWh annual energy savings.
  • McDonalds: Highest percentage of high-efficiency RTU installations and control retrofits from 2013 to 2018. McDonalds replaced more than 70% of RTUs at its company owned restaurants.
  • Mass Save: Highest number of high-efficiency RTU installations and advanced RTU control retrofits through an efficiency program. The program reported more than 6,400 installations, resulting in more than 10 million kWh annual energy savings.
  • Tri Pacific Heating & Air Conditioning: Highest number of high-efficiency RTU installations and advanced RTU control retrofits by a contractor/service provider. Tri Pacific reported 550 installations, resulting in more than 4 million kWh annual energy savings.

Continued commitment to high-efficiency RTU best practices

  • Target continues to develop innovative energy efficiency improvements in retail store design and operation that includes new ventilation strategies, optimized integrated design, and innovative fault detection and diagnostics. Target has installed and retrofitted 17,633 high-efficiency RTUs resulting in more than 12 million kWh annual energy savings since 2013.
  • Energy Solutions developed an innovative incentive program for commercial HVAC and partnered with utilities around the country to incentivize more than 45,000 high-efficiency RTUs and other unitary HVAC systems.
  • Transformative Wave continues to help recruit partners, conduct webinars, and contribute to publications. In addition, Transformative Wave has been a leader in pushing the envelope for high-efficiency RTU performance through multiple R&D projects.

Better Buildings Alliance technology campaigns such as the Advanced RTU Campaign 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, DOE is working to make commercial, public, industrial, and residential buildings 20% more energy efficient over the next decade without compromising comfort or performance.

Rooftop unit resources

Read more about ARC partner results and the innovative solutions being shared with others in the Better Buildings Solution Center’s Advanced Rooftop Unit Campaign (ARC) section. The website includes case studies and guidance documents highlighting best practices in rooftop unit replacement; resources built around a streamlined RTU evaluation methodology to evaluate new technologies for replacement and retrofits of existing RTUs; and multiple sample RFPs and specifications for participants to reference and use in their RTU procurement/retrofit efforts.