City of El Paso: International Airport


In 2009, the City of El Paso’s Council adopted a Sustainability Plan which included a goal to reduce the organization’s energy use by 30% by 2014. To meet this goal and revitalize city infrastructure, El Paso initiated an Energy Savings Performance Contract in 2007. Building on the momentum of the first four phases of work, which included 44 building upgrades, including renewable energy installations, HVAC upgrades, lighting retrofits, and a facility management system, the El Paso International Airport (EPIA) was an obvious next step.


El Paso International Airport (EPIA) provides first-class passenger and air cargo service to the three-state and two nation region, including West Texas, Southern New Mexico and Northern Mexico. Encompassing nearly 7,000 acres of land, the airport plays a vital role in the regional transportation system, not only for aviation and airline passenger travel, but also for industrial, commercial, and cargo activity. The EPIA buildings that were addressed include the Main Terminal, Customs & Maintenance, Warehouse I-III, and Butterfield Trail Golf Course Building.



The EPIA had outdated HVAC equipment that increased hot and cold spots and was not very efficient or comfortable. Although the EPIA did have a lot of natural light, it came with issues, too - the glare and heat from the windows made areas uncomfortable during hot summer months. The EPIA project included lighting retrofits and controls upgrades, solar window film, central plant upgrades, and installation of a facility-wide energy management system.


The airport main terminal lighting upgrades included retrofits to more efficient lamps and ballasts; wired and wireless lighting controls; a web-based control system; and daylighting controls throughout interior spaces. HVAC improvements addressed the airport’s aging central plant and included three new efficient chillers and pumps; four new efficient boilers and pumps; heat exchanger upgrades; and refurbishment of the existing cooling tower. The facility energy management system replaced all pneumatic valves and controllers with direct digital controls that optimized HVAC systems and consolidated three outdated controls systems into one central dashboard.

The estimated costs and energy impacts from the planned capital investment projects are:

Scope of Work

Simple Payback Years


Annual Electric Cost Savings

Annual Gas Cost Savings

Annual O&M Cost Savings

Annual Total Cost Savings

Lighting Retrofits & Controls







Solar Window Film







Central Plant HVAC Upgrades







Facility Energy Management System
















The goals of the EPIA upgrades were to improve indoor environments for travelers and employees, improve reliability of lighting systems, run HVAC system more efficiently, and to save on utilities and operations and maintenance costs. This project was the fifth phase in the City’s Energy Savings Performance Contract with Johnson Controls. The annual energy savings from all five phases are projected to be over $2.8 million with an additional $600,000 in utility rebates from El Paso Electric.


Annual Energy Use

(Source EUI)
Baseline (2011)
465 kBtu/sq. ft.
Actual (2014)
377 kBtu/sq. ft.

Energy Savings:


Annual Energy Cost

Baseline (2011)
Actual (2014)

Cost Savings:


Sector Type

Local Government


El Paso, Texas

Project Size

450,355 square feet

Financial Overview

Project Cost: $4,991,967

El Paso International Airport
El Paso International Airport

El Paso’s Airport Terminal
El Paso’s Airport Terminal