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Achieving A+ energy efficiency with energy recovery ventilation

The Charlotte County Public School System is saving money through more than a decade of energy efficiency efforts. Since 2002, the school system has installed eight energy recovery ventilation, or ERV, systems – improving each facility’s air conditioning efficiency and lowering costs.

Closer look

In August 2012, Meadow Park Elementary School became the latest Charlotte County school to implement this highly efficient, cost-saving system. At just over 107,000 square feet, Meadow Park was using on average over 85,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month. The average monthly power bill was approximately $9,500. District decision makers recognized a chance to reclaim some of those dollars by installing an ERV system.

Benefits of ERV

An ERV system uses energy from the building’s exhaust airflows to pre-condition outside air before that air is processed by the air conditioner. As a result, outside air comes into the air conditioning system cooler and with less moisture. Therefore, less work is required by the air conditioning system to reach the thermostat temperature.

 “Installing ERV at Meadow Park was just a common-sense decision,” explains Gene Spurr, the district’s director of maintenance and operations. “It’s our duty to be good stewards of the energy required to run our schools, and we’re always interested in opportunities to reallocate operational dollars for the benefit of educating our children.”

Savings add up

This initiative has paid off significantly for Charlotte County Schools. Meadow Park’s energy consumption has dropped by 11 percent per month. The school’s average monthly bill is 15 percent less than it was before the ERV system was in place. And, by taking advantage of FPL’s ERV Program rebates, the school system earned over $11,000 in rebates. See “ERV System Benefits” sidebar for typical customer savings.

Charlotte County School System administrators remain proactive about seizing energy-savings potential. “We maintain a close partnership with our account manager at FPL,” says Spurr. “Her expertise really helps us tap into new efficiency solutions.”

Learn if an ERV system could help your business save. 

erv system benefits

ERV System Benefits

An ERV system harnesses energy from exhaust airflows to pre-cool air before it is treated by the air conditioning system. This process reduces the air conditioner’s workload by up to 20 percent. Investing in an ERV system can yield significant benefits to schools and businesses:

  • Up to 40 percent greater overall heating and cooling efficiency
  • Improved indoor air quality
  • As much as 10 percent savings on annual energy costs
  • Additional savings through FPL’s ERV Program rebates

Actual savings may vary by customer.