Texas A&M University reportedly saved more than $500,000 in Kyle Field utilities in the past year.
The university in College Station announced Friday that changes to the 102,733-seat stadium led to $547,041 in savings from April 2019 to March 2020. The savings started with the Athletics Facilities and Operations team working with the Texas A&M Utilities and Energy Services to find ways to reprogram Kyle Field’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
“With a venue as large as Kyle Field, even the smallest of changes will produce enormous benefits,” said Kevin Hurley, senior associate athletics director for facilities, events and construction. “Saving over a half-million dollars in our first year is a great accomplishment, but it’s also just the initial step in a long-term process and plan to be good stewards of the monetary support provided by the 12th Man Foundation and its donors. The success of this initiative was the result of a total team effort from basically every person that walked through the gates of Kyle Field.”
Utilities and Energy Services’ supervisor of energy performance improvement Christopher Dieckert says the most important changes were “scheduling unused spaces and adjusting the sequence of operations for all mechanical systems in the stadium. A raising of the awareness of how the building operates among the facility’s occupants was also a big factor.” Kyle Field occupants were encouraged to refrain from making unreasonable temperature requests and leaving doors open to the outside.
According to Dieckert, a new outside air temperature sensor “determines the amount of cooling or heating that is needed to meet comfort requirements and the dehumidification set points inside each space based upon this sensor.”
From April 2019 until March 2020, there were four months that saw at least $50,000 in savings compared to the previous year. The high savings of $76,821 came in March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down college sports across the United States.
"If the current mode of operation is maintained and the new practices are upheld, then Kyle Field should realize the same amount, if not more, in savings next year," Dieckert said in the press release, which noted that some of the changes will be implemented at other Texas A&M facilities. "UES made changes during the winter months at the end of the program and we have not reached the summer months where the savings from those adjustments will be realized."