Energy cost savings and expected payback for Re-tuning the controls of US Army buildings


The Headquarters Department of the Army sponsored a study to determine the national impact of deploying the Re-tuning™ (“Re-tuning” is a trademark of the US Department of Energy) methodology in five building types that account for over 40% of the Army’s conditioned building stock. Re-tuning is a systematic process that improves operational efficiency and reduces energy consumption at no or low cost through the building automation system by correcting operational problems that plague buildings. The study relied on successful demonstration of the Re-tuning methodology at four pilot US Army installations that informed a holistic effort, including simulating 12 individual Re-tuning energy efficiency measures (EEMs) and six packages of EEMs in five selected Army building prototype models that represent 311 million ft2 (28.9 million m2) of the Army’s conditioned floor space. Both the baseline buildings and the packages were customized to capture the expected outcomes of Re-tuning a diverse set of buildings. The study highlighted the benefit of individual Re-tuning EEMs and economics of implementing packages of EEMs in applicable Army buildings across 16 climates and two building vintages. The average whole-building energy savings ranged from 10.8 to 40.5% by building type, with the company operations facility building having the highest value proposition from Re-tuning. In addition, the study revealed that all large office buildings in the Army are economical to Re-tuning. The total modeled cost savings potential for Re-tuning the five building types across the US Army is $204/1000 ft2 ($220/100 m2) or $64 M annually. This cost savings represent 5.6% of all the Army’s energy expenditures.

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  1. 1.

    Based on a contracted cost of $50,000 per building and a required simple payback of 5 years.

  2. 2.

    Assuming the size of the buildings match the size of the prototype models (described in Table 1)


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Fernandez, N., Taasevigen, D., Boyd, B. et al. Energy cost savings and expected payback for Re-tuning the controls of US Army buildings. Energy Efficiency 13, 835–851 (2020).

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  • Army
  • Buildings
  • Simulation
  • Controls
  • Re-tuning
  • Savings