- Johnson Controls signed a 20-year energy partnership with Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation in Texas to make energy efficiency upgrades to a 350-acre sports and entertainment complex in Houston.
- The project is expected to generate more than $54 million in savings, which will be used to fund the cost of the improvements.
- The partnership demonstrates a way that organizations and municipalities are trying to meet carbon pledge goals while balancing budgets.
While facility operators have to find a way to balance ESG goals with tight budgets, HCSCC’s deal could offer a solution for some if the expected savings come to fruition, creating a cushion to pay for efficiency upgrades.
The partnership will include complex-wide energy efficiency upgrades for the facilities, including upgrades to HVAC equipment, building automation systems, water conservation, life and safety systems, lighting and high-efficiency chillers.
The project will span across most of the NRG Park complex, which hosts over 5.5 million people and 500 events annually at its NRG Stadium, NRG Center and NRG Arena.
In addition to cost savings associated with the planned upgrades, the agreement is also expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 241,000 metric tons per year. The project is significant for Harris County, as it moves toward its goal of cutting carbon emissions by 40% by 2030, and aligns with the county's climate action plan launched earlier this year.
"This project will be a significant contributor to Harris County's Climate Action Plan that was established in January. The NRG Park and Johnson Controls partnership is advancing our emissions reduction goals significantly and setting the standard for other local organizations and future county projects,” stated Adrian Garcia, Precinct 2 Harris County Commissioner.
???????? SUSTAINABILITY ????????— NRG Park (@nrgpark) May 31, 2023
NRG Park with Johnson Control Instruments and the Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation are working to ensure sustainability for future generations.#nrgpark | #sustainability | #houston pic.twitter.com/tymWrzt5ku
NRG Stadium, where NFL team Houston Texans play, isn’t the only football franchise upgrading their facilities to be more sustainable. The Tennessee Titans received final approval in April from the city of Nashville to build a new LEED-certified stadium in a $2.1 billion agreement, which includes $1.26 billion in public funding.
As ESG mandates and carbon emission policies continue to gain steam, local governments like Nashville and Harris County are often taking the lead to tackle building sustainability because of relatively fixed budgets and federal programs that set emission reduction targets. The city of Philadelphia also recently announced it is introducing building automation systems into more than 20 municipal buildings, as part of its Municipal Energy Master Plan and Better Climate Challenge goal.