Monday, November 18, 2019

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New Heating System Could Save Local YMCA Up to $10K Per Year


“In six months, we saved more than 1,700 gallons in fuel consumption,” says Janna Loureiro Wasel, Executive Director of the Piscataquis Regional YMCA in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine. “Projecting those savings out over the next six months, that equates to $8,000 in fuel savings for the year.” Assuming those savings continue, that’s an extra $8,000 per year available for YMCA programs like fitness classes, senior activities, child care, health and wellness initiatives, swimming lessons and more.

How could a heating system replacement provide such extraordinary returns? It’s all about demand. The Piscataquis Regional YMCA is home to the only heated community swimming pool in all of 4,378-square-mile Piscataquis County. In a region where sub-zero winter temperatures are not uncommon, that swimming pool sees a lot of use. Keeping it heated all year, while also providing heat for hot showers and the facility itself, can be a tall and costly order.

Enter A.E. Robinson: the heating fuel and services provider for the Piscataquis Regional YMCA. “We’ve been servicing the heating system over there since the place was built in 1988,” recalls business owner Jim Robinson. It hasn’t been easy, though.

“Our old system required constant costly repairs and struggled to keep up with the heating demands of the building,” says Wasel.

Jim saw even worse trouble coming last fall. “I finally said, ‘I don’t know if this is going to make it another winter,’” he remembers. Jim knew funding at the facility, located in a community of just over 4,000 people, might be too tight to pay for a complete heating system replacement upfront. However, he also knew that given a little time, the right system could more than pay for itself in energy savings. So, he turned to a boiler manufacturer he knows and trusts: Energy Kinetics, makers of the ultra-high-efficiency System 2000 line.

“We’ve been putting in the System 2000 for about 16 to 18 years, and anywhere we install it people save on their fuel consumption,” Robinson says. Jim and his nephew, Bill Robinson, service manager for A.E. Robinson, determined that the EK3 model System 2000 would not only provide enough heat and hot water for the whole YMCA on even the coldest days of the year, but would do so at about one-third of the facility’s annual fuel costs. A longtime supporter of the YMCA, Jim also knew how important the facility and its programs are to the Dover-Foxcroft community. Knowing all this, he proposed something truly extraordinary.

ymca2.jpgPersonnel from the Piscataquis Regional YMCA, A.E. Robinson and Energy Kinetics in the YMCA’s newly upgraded boiler room. Left to right are: Piscataquis Regional YMCA Facility Manager Tracey Redmond and Board President Bill Rayfield, Bill and Jim Robinson from A.E. Robinson, Piscataquis Regional YMCA Executive Director Janna Loureiro Wasel and Energy Kinetics Maine Territory Manager Jim Pike.

A.E. Robinson would remove the facility’s two old boilers and four water tanks and replace them with two EK3 boilers, complete with two new tanks and smart circulator pumps, for no money down and no interest over three years. The YMCA agreed, and in early November 2018, Bill Robinson and his team went to work.

“The job took less than two weeks from start to finish,” Wasel says. “A.E. Robinson really worked with us to make this a seamless transition. During installation, the technicians removed one of the old boilers and kept our heat working though the second boiler. Once the new system was in place, they disconnected the second old boiler and made the final connections on the new system without requiring any downtime to our facility. The new boilers are significantly smaller but much more efficient than our old ones.”

The results speak for themselves: in the first six months since the replacement, the YMCA reduced its heating fuel usage by an astonishing 1,709 gallons. “Before they were using 144 gallons per degree day, and now they’re using 86,” Jim says, referencing the measurement used to calculate heating demand.

As if $8,000 in projected annual fuel savings weren’t enough, the EK3 also lowered the building’s electricity usage over the first six months by 13,176 kilowatt hours. That’s “about 10%,” according to Wasel, “which translates into approximately $2,000 in savings for the year.” All told, the Piscataquis Regional YMCA looks to save as much as $10,000 per year on combined fuel and electricity costs, not to mention lower maintenance costs.

Equally important, the facility’s heating and hot water are now better than ever. “Even through the Polar Vortex we experienced in 2019, our new system was able to keep up with the heating demands of our facility,” Wasel says. “This project was absolutely necessary for our facility, and our members are very happy knowing that A.E. Robinson worked to make sure that the Y could afford this important investment. In a few years, the system will be paid in full and we will be able to redirect these funds back into our programs, scholarships and other facility needs.”

That brings a smile not only to Jim Robinson, but also Jim Pike, Maine Territory Manager for Energy Kinetics. Having worked closely with Robinson for many years, Pike calls the replacement, “Another great example of our product and a committed dealer serving the greater good of the community.”

For more information on Energy Kinetics’ residential and commercial systems, contact Jay McCay, National Sales Manager, at 908-328-7154 or jmccay@energykinetics.com.


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