How much are Advanced Rooftop Unit Controls expanding the HVAC market—and potentially your bottom line?

Rocky Mountain Power recently decided to ask for our perspective on the wattsmart Business ARC offering in the context of our completed projects across North America. Take a look at how we responded to their Q&A in an effort to help contractors better communicate ARC benefits to their customers: Advanced Rooftop-Unit Controls (ARCs) Make Customers Happy

Advanced RTU Controls Make Customers Happy


Question: Transformative Wave works with customers of all types and sizes across the country. Which ARC features pique customer interest? Can you explain how you educate customers about these?

Answer: Oftentimes, customers simply do not know the magnitude of energy wasted by rooftop-units (RTUs). As North America’s most common commercial cooling system, RTUs tend to be out of sight, and out of mind.

When introducing customers to Advanced Rooftop-unit Control (ARC) solutions, we carefully lay out the issues of energy waste along with possible savings scenarios for the customer. Organizations are frequently surprised by the true bottom-line impacts that energy upgrades can have.

Many customers have taken the popular first step of performing LED lighting upgrades. But as a result, they have lowered the cooling requirements of their space so that rooftop equipment that was likely already oversized is now even more out of sync with the air service needs of their space.

We see many customers becoming increasingly more interested in using ARCs as the next logical step in efficiency after lighting upgrades. And for those who have not already performed lighting upgrades, we have had great success in packaged upgrades that includes both LED lighting and ARC technology.

Finally, customers are comforted to know that ARC technology has been vetted, validated, and supported by over 14 third-party studies across the country, including the Department of Energy and many utilities.

Question: When an HVAC contractor contacts you with interest in Advanced Rooftop Controls, what benefits make it a valuable tool in their customer service quiver?

Answer: When contractors come to us to learn about ARC and possibly becoming a Transformative Wave Affiliate, they learn that our solutions are pre-programmed and engineered, and we deploy our ARC solution (the CATALYST) in a kit concept. This helps deliver consistency and efficiency to the installation. It also prevents the contractor from needing to piece together a solution on their own.

Question: What are key points you feel contractors should make when talking ARC with customers?

Answer: ARC is the next low hanging fruit of energy efficiency opportunities.

If lighting projects are done, this is the next significant energy-savings opportunity for customers that rely on constant volume packaged rooftop units. There are also many non-energy related benefits of upgrading the RTU’s with an ARC solution, including reduced noise and increased occupant comfort.

Along with energy savings, ARC upgrades provide customers several great benefits: financial savings, asset accountability, fault detection, maintenance notifications and greater control over how their facilities and rooftop equipment are ultimately managed.

Question: With your experience across the country, how is ARC technology impacting the HVAC industry? How do you expect it grow in the next 1-3 years?

As lighting rebates begin to fade from the market, ARC upgrades become the next logical step for the industry to support. Because ARCs can provide a tremendous financial alternative to unit replacement, interest will remain high in retrofits. As the market also takes an interest in data-driven decisions for their HVAC systems and dive more deeply into the Internet of Things (IoT), ARC solutions will pave the way to amazing advancements in automated fault detection and diagnostics and environmental controls.

We are also seeing how the increased need to better manage variability in the electric grid is opening the door for HVAC Demand Response programs. These programs will play an essential role in how customers manage their assets.

A quality ARC system can not only help provide proper control of HVAC units, but with automated fault detection and diagnostics, it can make certain that the unit is able to provide the necessary load reduction in a manner that maintains customer comfort while the customer receives benefits of participating in a demand response event.