Overcoming the Market Barriers for roof-top unit (RTU) Retrofit Enhancement

CARD webinar

June 8, 2023 | 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.


Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources
Event Description

Approximately 80% of commercial buildings in Minnesota are served by rooftop units (RTUs), which are generally standard efficiency systems. Since RTUs are typically used for more than 20 years prior to replacement on failure, many existing RTUs fall in the age range where retrofitting can provide benefit. Products have advanced significantly in the last ten years and are now commercially available for retrofitting an RTU, making them a viable option for existing packaged RTUs. However, RTU retrofits continue to be uncommon. A lack of understanding of market barriers to adoption of available RTU retrofit technologies has inhibited their uptake.  

Available retrofit technologies for RTUs include a variety of methods to achieve energy savings, including reducing the speed of the evaporator fan; advanced economizer control and demand control ventilation for free cooling and to provide the correct amount of fresh air for ventilation; and zoning controls to prevent over conditioning. In addition to energy savings, these technologies can provide non-energy benefits such as increased comfort, less noise, and building automation system integration for simple control.

In this webinar, Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) will discuss the results from a recent CARD project that assessed the barriers for RTU retrofit technologies. Results will be discussed related to the following project goals.

  1. Perform a market scan to determine available technologies that exist for RTU retrofit.
  2. Characterize the existing market through interviews of key industry professionals, including mechanical contractors, distributors, manufacturers, and building owners.
  3. Assess current offerings from utility programs throughout Minnesota, as well as national programs.
  4. Perform field measurements on various RTU retrofit approaches and determine energy savings potential for each.
  5. Provide overall recommendations to promote market adoption of these technologies.

Join us on June 8th to hear key findings on overcoming the market barriers for RTU retrofit enhancement in Minnesota that can be leveraged to target CIP offerings and tailor interventions to most effectively impact the market.

The purpose of the Conservation Applied Research and Development (CARD) Grant Program is to identify new technologies, strategies and program approaches that utilities can implement to help achieve the annual state energy-conservation goal of 1.5% as established by the Next Generation Energy Act of 2007. For more information, visit the Applied Research and Development webpage or email the program administrator, Lindsay Anderson.


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