8th Hussars Sports Center Sussex Arena Success Story
The Town of Sussex has made a sizable dent in a hefty line item in their annual municipal budget thanks, in part, to Efficiency New Brunswick’s Commercial Energy Smart program. Retrofits for energy efficiency at the Sussex Arena 8th Hussars Sports Center have reduced the arena’s energy consumption and costs significantly.
From 1992 to 2009 the arena used on average 921,682 kWh/year and in 2010 the arena only used 714,760 KWh-- a 22.5% reduction and savings of approximately $19,244 in energy costs alone.The 38-year-old arena, was one of the largest consumers of energy in the Town’s portfolio of municipal buildings, making it an “easy target” to lower energy bills, says Jason Thorne, the town’s Recreation Director.
“Knowing full well that energy rates are only going in one direction, the town decided to pursue the retrofits recommended by consultants MCW Maricor, and to great success.”
In 2007 MCW Maricor evaluated the arena for structural integrity, performed a comprehensive energy audit and provided the town with a detailed report of its findings and energy efficiency upgrade recommendations. The evaluation found the arena to be structurally sound and worthy of re-investments-- an important factor for Sussex City Hall when deciding whether or not to retrofit the current arena or to build a new one.
With MCW Maricor’s report in hand and administrative support for energy efficiency measures, the Sussex arena moved forward with retrofits. “We made the decision to re-invest and to do so wisely,” says Thorne, “and the report from the evaluation and audit helped us to do that.”
The “big ticket items” for improvement included roof upgrades, ice temperature controls, lighting upgrades and heating controls. The arena was eligible for financial incentives through ENB’s Energy Smart program for the roof upgrade, ice temperature control unit and lighting retrofit.
One of the biggest opportunities for improving energy efficiency was installing a new roof in the arena. By installing a roof membrane, the arena is better able to keep heat out and retain cool air during warmer months. Replacing the old, constantly leaking roof has eliminated ongoing roof maintenance costs with the added benefit of improving the building’s overall thermal and refrigeration performance.In 2010 the rink became fully automated, set up with a server that communicates and synchronizes the arena’s refrigeration, heating and lighting needs all based on the ice schedule.
Thorne hears constant, positive feedback about the improvements in the quality of lighting at the rink. “Our system today, at 66%, exceeds our previous lighting levels at 100% and the quality of light is so much more even, completely covering the rink.”
Thorne describes the process of reducing energy consumption and “seeing tangible results in the budget” as “addictive,” and he hopes to continue with retrofits for energy efficiency. “We’ve really just picked off the ‘low-hanging fruit’,” he says, and is already thinking about a heat recovery system to realize additional savings. With 2010 coming in as the rink’s lowest year on record for energy consumption, the Sussex Arena is off to a great start.