Valencia recently surpassed the $1 million milestone in energy savings over the past year and a half by successfully implementing and maintaining an innovative energy conservation program.
The college launched its Energy Education program in 2011 through a partnership with Cenergistic, a national firm that trains its clients to plan and implement a comprehensive energy conservation program that focuses on best practices for using energy.
“Passing the $1 million mark is a significant milestone,” said Dr. William S. Spears, chairman and founder of Cenergistic. “Valencia College has achieved this level of success by consistently implementing the behavioral approach to energy conservation and maintaining productive efforts at all levels of the organization.”
Compared to energy costs in the baseline year of May 2010 – April 2011, the college captured 28 percent in energy savings as of December 2011 and 36 percent as of December 2012. When calculating savings, mechanical adjustments (new equipment, lighting retrofits, control adjustments) are subtracted from the totals. The calculations also exclude savings due to weather variances.
The college has achieved these savings through encouraging behavior modifications. This has included strategically scheduling classes to maximize building usage; conducting routine energy audits to document the status of HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) usage and making adjustments when needed; and through the continued reinforcement to turn off/unplug lights, computers, and appliances during unoccupied times such as holidays.
“It’s working and can only continue to improve,” said Patti Riva, operations manager of the Energy Education program. “Each and every one of you has helped us reach this savings figure. That light you turn off in a classroom or an office; the classes you’ve agreed to relocate and the computers and TVs shut off, all make a difference.”