Energy Performance Contract

Reducing Energy Demand in City Buildings & Facilities

Angel Oak with energy reduction from JCI

The City of Charleston has prioritized energy efficiency to ensure our buildings and facilities are performing as efficiently as possible and not wasting energy.  

These actions save money and reduce our carbon footprint!


The City of Charleston partnered with Johnson Controls International in an energy management performance contract in 2001.  While much of the contract has been completed, Amendment 4 began in 2018 and is still in progress.

Through this effort and with leadership and support from the City Parks Department, the City is making improvements to reduce energy and water use throughout our 4.2 million square feet of building space and 1,806 acres of parks!

The improvements are already saving millions of dollars, renewing aging inefficient infrastructure (through reinvestment of the savings), and reducing the City’s carbon footprint!

Anticipated Results

  • $16.8M cost savings so far (April 2019)
  • $18.1M estimated cost avoidance over 15 years
  • $13.3M estimated in infrastructure renewal
  • 47% estimate reduction in energy consumption citywide when complete
  • 136,692.08 tons of CO2e emissions have been reduced by energy savings as of April 2019, and an additional 45,250 tons of CO2e emissions are estimated to reduce when complete

Project Highlightsreplace old light bulbs_800x800  DOE

  • Install high efficiency LED fixtures with sensors in parking garages (better light / lower wattage / longer life / energy efficiency)
  • Install LED bulbs as lighting upgrades in City facilities (better light / lower wattage / longer life)
  • Replace inefficient chillers, air handling units and HVAC units, particularly those reliant on R22 refrigerant as the product is phasing out and has major environmental concerns (end of useful life / operational reliability / improved comfort / energy efficiency)
  • Install programmable thermostats at multiple locations (improved comfort / energy efficiency)
  • Link the City’s diverse and widespread facilities into one system wide control dashboard (energy efficiency / energy management)
  • Install VendingMiser® technology on cold beverage and snack machines throughout the City (energy efficiency)
  • Renovate facilities, clean ducts, replace windows, and address any building envelope concerns (energy efficiency)
  • Install new WeatherTrak irrigation system throughout the City (reduce the City’s current water usage by 30 to 40%/ protect both landscape and hardscape / automated leak detection / reduce non-point source runoff pollution / optimize operations)
  • Implement water conservation measures at City parks (water conservation / utility savings)
  • Renovate MLK pool enclosure (extend season / energy efficiency / safety)



ENERGY STAR defines Energy efficiency as "delivering the same (or more) services for less energy". 

They go on to say: 

"when we use less energy, the less energy we need to generate at power plants, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and improves the quality of our air.  Energy efficiency helps the economy, too, by saving consumers and businesses millions of dollars in energy costs. Energy efficient solutions can reduce the energy bill for many homeowners and businesses by 20 to 30 percent."

Learn more about the City’s Energy Resilience initiatives