Employees Recognized for Energy Saving Efforts

Top Left (Energy Heroes): Michele McArdle, Dave Heffernan, Susan Dunn, Marie Brady, Vivian Martin, Arcadio Rivera (not pictured: Thomas Stout & Johnny Aplin). Bottom Right (Energy Champion): Robert Hickman.

Valencia’s Office of Sustainability is pleased to announce the new Energy Champion and Energy Hero program, which recognizes employees who demonstrate efforts to help reduce energy consumption at the college.

The Energy Champion award recognizes an individual or group that presents or implements a cost-effective and innovative idea, action, or system that saves the college a significant amount of money (over $100,000). Robert Hickman, operations manager of energy efficiency, is the first employee to receive the Energy Champion title.

In 2010, Robert researched and tested a new technology water treatment system for the West Campus Chiller Plant to reduce water consumption. “The first year realized savings of 9.2 million gallons of billed water and a cost savings of $102,000,”  said Patti Riva, operations manager of the Energy Education program. “The system was so successful that it was implemented at the East, Osceola and Lake Nona Chiller Plants in 2011 – 2012 and is saving approximately 25 million gallons of billed water and $230,000 annually.”

The Energy Hero award, disseminated annually, serves as a way to recognize employees who suggest or implement energy-saving ideas that help build awareness of energy usage or are cost effective for the college. This year, the following individuals have been designated as Valencia’s first Energy Heroes:

Michele McArdle, executive dean, and Susan Dunn, manager of credit programs, from the Winter Park Campus agreed to effectively implement strategic scheduling and manage building utilization. Both agreed to move classes from the second to the first floor on Friday evenings and Saturdays. By taking this action, the air on the second floor was turned off, beginning Friday evening, for the entire weekend. This step began during the fall 2011 term and continued through the spring 2012 term, saving the college $6,000 (combined for fall and spring). Their energy savings efforts continued during the summer of 2012 for an approximate savings of $3,900.

Thomas Stout, audio visual specialist at the Winter Park Campus, was recognized by fellow colleagues for his diligence in preparing for the 2012 Spring Break shutdown. Actions taken included ensuring each classroom was completely powered down, including all equipment and surge protectors. Office surge protectors were turned off, and TVs and other equipment were unplugged in the common areas, ensuring maximum energy savings over the long break.

Marie Brady, manager of campus operations at the Osceola Campus, approved moving a Friday night class both in the fall 2011 and spring 2012 terms from one building to another. This allowed the air to be turned off in one building three hours earlier and saved the college approximately $4,000 (combined for fall and spring).

Vivian Martin, staff assistant in the West Campus president’s office, relocated summer weekend classes in 2012, to maximize building utilization. Her efforts enabled an early shutdown of five buildings beginning Friday afternoons during the summer. “For those involved with scheduling, you know that is no easy task,” Patti pointed out. Through her actions alone, the college saved approximately $18,000.

Dave Heffernan, assistant director of the Criminal Justice Institute (CJI), sent an email last summer indicating the following: “Environmental Control Folks – You’ll notice that the CJI conference room is booked for Sunday, July 1 and July 6. I will be using the conference room for FDLE Audit reviews on those days, but you DO NOT have to run the air conditioning for me. I’ll move my portable fan in and manage with that.” Dave’s thoughtfulness helped save the college several hundred dollars in just a few days.

Arcadio Rivera, who, while working on the East Campus as the trades/maintenance assistant supervisor, saved energy by answering the call to weekend text alerts regarding HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) equipment running when not scheduled. “The importance is [that] he was not required to respond to these alerts, and yet, he did,” Patti shared. “While an exact figure cannot be clearly identified, several thousands of dollars were captured in savings this past year because of his efforts.” Arcadio recently transferred to the West Campus where he is now the trades/maintenance supervisor.

Johnny Aplin, coordinator of the ATLAS outpost on East Campus, encouraged his staff to turn off all computers and monitors and unplug other equipment during extended holiday breaks. Johnny consistently keeps his staff motivated to save energy and participate in other sustainable efforts such as recycling.

“This first group of Energy Heroes was unaware of the program, initially,” Patti said. “The program had not yet been officially launched, yet these individuals recognized the savings impact their actions would produce.”

Each Energy Hero received a certificate along with a gift card in the amount of $100, and was honored at a luncheon in late January. The program is co-sponsored by the Valencia Foundation and Helen Von Dolteren-Fournier, legal and financial advisor, who has committed to supporting the program for five years.

Nominations for the Energy Champion and Hero recognition awards, including self-nominations, and energy saving ideas should be submitted to Patti Riva, operations manager of the Energy Education program, at priva@valenciacollege.edu.

1 Comment

  • Mark Wilson said:

    I wanted to thank Valencia College for having an open door policy for new technology and being the Green leader in our community.

    PMFri, 01 Mar 2013 13:40:57 +0000Fri, 01 Mar 2013 13:40:57 +0000pm13,1:40 pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

    Sustainability Perspectives: Climate Tech, Public Policy...

    Tuesday, October 12, 2021 Date: Wednesday, October 13, 2021 Time: 6:30 – 8 p.m. Location: Zoom As part of the upcoming Valencia College Sustainability Conference happening this week, an evening session will be offered on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 — Sustainability Perspectives: Climate Tech, Public Policy and Science Panel Discussion. At this session, leaders from science, policy and business and technology will discuss […]

    James Adamski Invites You to the Upcoming Sustainability...

    Thursday, October 7, 2021 A Message from Wendy Givoglu, Interim President, East and Winter Park Campuses Professor of Earth Science James Adamski will present at Valencia College’s Sustainability Conference: People + Planet + Prosperity. The virtual conference will take place from Tuesday, October 12 through Thursday, October 14, 2021, and will offer exciting opportunities to learn about how you can […]