NRG Park and Johnson Controls Kick Off Historic Sustainability Initiative

Johnson Controls, the global leader for smart, healthy and sustainable buildings, announced its collaboration with Harris County Sports & Convention Corporation (HCSCC), NRG Park and Harris County, Texas, to embark on a historic sustainability and energy efficiency project at one of the nation's busiest sports and entertainment complexes. The 20-year energy savings performance contract is expected to generate more than $54 million dollars in savings that will fund the entire cost of the complex-wide upgrades, as well as provide surplus savings to be reinvested back into the Harris County community.

"Our partnership with Harris County and HCSCC's team to guide the enhancement initiative at NRG Park is paving the way for more sustainable practices across the sports and entertainment sector," said Julie Brandt, president of Building Solutions North America at Johnson Controls. "We look forward to seeing how this project will inspire other industry leaders and drive smart savings and significant emissions reduction, not only in Harris County but on a national scale."

Encompassing 350 acres of land and three sports, entertainment and event venues – NRG Center, NRG Stadium and NRG Arena – NRG Park is an integral part of the Houston community and hosts over 500 events and over 5.5 million people annually. The project spans across much of the complex including upgrades to HVAC equipment, building automation systems (BAS), water conservation, life safety systems and lighting improvements, as well as high-efficiency chiller upgrades and the integration of Johnson Controls OpenBlue Central Utility Plant. Johnson Controls will continue to measure and verify results through an ongoing service agreement.

"We remain committed to maintaining NRG Park's distinct position as a part of the fabric of our community and a landmark for visitors globally," said Ryan Walsh, CEO & executive director of HCSCC and NRG Park. "This upcoming year promises to be incredibly exciting. We have the privilege of hosting an impressive lineup of leading sports and entertainment events including the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and the NFL Houston Texans as well as the College Football Playoff Championship and FIFA World Cup. These enhancements allow us to maintain our reputation for excellence and continue to deliver the best fan experiences, while exploring innovative and financially responsible approaches to sustainability."

"Our engagement with Johnson Controls is a dynamic addition to the highest caliber of overall guest experience provided at NRG Park. This is a demonstration of superb facilities management and fiscal responsibility," said Bishop James Dixon II, chairman of the board at HCSCC. "Because the project is completely funded by generated savings, it is a win for all involved stakeholders, including our tenants, guests, clients, meeting planners, promoters, performers, staff and Harris County taxpayers. We are excited to continue our mission to provide an elevated and unparalleled experience at all of our venues while reinvesting in the community that makes our diverse county and region uniquely special."

"NRG Park is a premier destination that welcomes more than 5.5 million people annually," said Rodney Ellis, Harris County Commissioner for Precinct 1. "These enhancements will create a more enjoyable and resilient environment for people traveling from near and far to attend the multitude of events hosted there."

In addition to creating a renewed environment for NRG Park attendees, the project is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 241,000 metric tons annually, making this a project of significance to Harris County, which aims to reduce the county's carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 per its Climate Action Plan. Launched in January 2023, the plan outlines steps to reduce carbon emissions, including energy audits at outdated buildings and facilities to determine where energy-efficient equipment can be implemented, leading to better-performing facilities and long-term cost savings for the entire county.

Precinct 2 Harris County Commissioner, Adrian Garcia, added, "This project will be a significant contributor to Harris County's Climate Action Plan that was established in January. The NRG Park and Johnson Controls partnership is advancing our emissions reduction goals significantly and setting the standard for other local organizations and future county projects."

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