Rochester, NY

Rochester City School District

Improved boiler combustion efficiency reduces emissions due to natural gas usage, saving the equivalent of taking 122 passenger vehicles off the road.

Close up view of boiler equipment at a Rochester City School

Value Delivered

The Rochester City School District (RCSD) and the New York State Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) selected EMCOR Services Betlem (Betlem) to complete a boiler retro commissioning (RCx) study at 40 of the district’s facilities under NYSERDA’s FlexTech Program.  

Betlem identified 151 RCx measures and 99 energy conservation measures (ECMs) with a total annual savings potential of $112,283. Our team estimated gas savings of 124,359 therms per year and 14,947 kWh of electrical savings. 

The annual avoided emissions due to reduced natural gas usage is 622 tons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to taking 122 passenger vehicles off the road or the emissions due to consuming 69,708 gallons of gasoline. The cumulative payback period for all identified RCx measures was 2.4 years, and 7.04 years for the ECMs.

Client Objectives

The purpose of this study was to analyze the current performance of the boiler systems at these facilities, locate areas of energy waste, and identify opportunities for operational and efficiency improvements.


Retro commissioning measures return equipment to its original design specifications resulting in improved operational efficiency and oftentimes, reduced energy consumption. Examples found in this project include:

  • Reinsulate hot water and steam distribution pipes where insulation is damaged or missing
  • Repair hot water leaks due to a faulty manual blowdown valve
  • Repair damaged conduit on blower motor power supply
  • Investigate/repair hot water circulation pump seal which shows signs of leaks and has major scaling

ECMs are projects that are implemented with the intention of saving energy. Examples found in this project include:

  • Insulate hot water and steam distribution pipes (new install)
  • Insulate feedwater and condensate return tanks
  • Install variable frequency drive on hot water circulation pumps
  • Retrofit existing boilers with improved shell insulation

Client Background

RCSD is made up of 56 pre-k sites, 27 traditional elementary schools, 14 K-8 or K-12 schools, 25 secondary schools, and one Montessori school.