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 Energy Management

The Governor issued an Executive Order on Nov. 22, 2005 directing the Department of Administration to issue energy conservation guidelines for use by all State Agencies. In response to the current energy environment and this Executive Order, the College needs to investigate and implement additional measures to conserve energy. The following have been identified as some key items to help conserve energy. These may be modified depending on forthcoming specific guidelines and further investigations.

Everyone has felt the affects of the current increase in energy costs. The College spends over $1 million annually on energy and is being impacted by the increasing costs. We have implemented a significant number of energy improvement projects and were able to reduce our energy use this past year by almost 7% over the previous year. This translates to a calculated savings of over $70,000. So we have made some good progress in energy management, but we need to continue to make improvements. The current price increases are motivating this but it is more than that. As custodians of a large facility that uses a large amount of energy, we have a responsibility to be as efficient as possible. What we do here has a very big impact.

The College will be investigating further energy improvement projects. This may include further building control improvements or lighting upgrades or a host of other possibilities. However, a major opportunity that we need to tap into is in the area of how we operate the buildings. The following few steps are measures to operate more efficiently:

  • Control room temperatures to 70 degrees and corridors to 68.
  • Turn off lights when you leave a room
  • Take space heaters home

Energy Conservation Steps

  • Control room temperatures to 70 degrees and corridors to 68 degrees.

Occupants do not normally have control of the thermostats in their areas. There are adjustments on the thermostats but these are disabled. Control of space temperature is made from a main building operation computer. Thermostats are, in general, accurate. The coolness sometimes complained about is probably due to the air movement of 70 degree air from ceiling air diffusers. Facilities staff, for the most part, has provided the temperatures that the office occupants have asked for when addressing temperature complaints even if it is well above 70 degrees. This uses a large amount of energy and needs to be discontinued. Other public institutions are implementing similar measures.

  • Turn off lights when you leave a room

Many of the rooms are equipped with motion sensors that control HVAC and lighting but are set to function at about 15 minutes. We will re-examine this but it is still a good practice to turn off lights when you leave a room. We have a large number of rooms and we often find empty rooms with the lights on. This is a problem in the evenings, in particular.

  • Take space heaters home

Space heaters waste a lot of energy. They use electrical energy to heat spaces which is a more expensive source of heat energy and increase electrical demand charges because of when they are used. They provide heat to a room when turned on but as they heat the room the thermostat picks up the temperature change and if it is above the set point, will actually call for cooling to the room. So, the system actually starts fighting itself and is wasting energy in the process. If the thermostat controls more than one room, the other areas are also getting cooling. In addition, there can be safety problems with space heaters. Space heaters found in rooms may be removed as we go forward.