Savings Revealed in Energy Audit Team Report
Between $73,000 and $143,000 in potential energy savings at Guilford have been identified by the campus energy audit team – and the amount is expected to grow as the team’s work continues.
The figures are based on an energy audit of 19 buildings, including Founders Hall, which is one of the largest on campus. Funded by a $200,000 grant from the N.C. Energy Office, the team will ultimately check the energy usage in 30 or more of the largest buildings on campus.
“Guilford College has done an excellent job in identifying and implementing energy reduction opportunities in the past and continues to do so,” said Brett Hacker, who is the sustainability project manager. “Through adopting energy conservation policies in maintenance operations and management decisions, the College has realized a significant amount of utility savings and decreased the campus’ carbon footprint.”
Founders Hall was the centerpiece of a Dec. 12 presentation to the campus community. A variety of conservation measures were examined, including replacing exit signs with LED signs, installing occupancy sensors for general lighting, and weather stripping windows in Gilmer Room and around exterior doors.
The largest single savings measure for Founders was adjusting temperature settings to campus standards, which are 68 degrees in the winter and 74 degrees in the summer. Those savings amounted to $6,556 with no budgetary cost.
Two sets of savings data were presented: long-term, $143,458 in savings with total implementation costs and a six-year estimated return on investment; and short-term, $73,300 in savings with implementation costs of $27,458 and less than five months return on investment.
This audit, Hacker said, shows that Guilford College’s sustainability efforts are being tracked through measurement and verification systems and the results are definitely showing reduction in carbon, energy use, and money.
The energy team is charged with completing technical energy audits that document potential energy conservation measures and implementing those measures in a sustainable manner. Of equal importance, Hacker said, is the community engagement piece of the sustainability puzzle.
“Our best identifiers of energy related improvements are through conversations with building occupants,” he said. “They spend a great deal of their time in the buildings and can tell us about a light that never turns off, windows that have air leakage, or room temperatures that are often abnormal.
“We think a building exists to serve the occupants’ needs. By creating, designing and educating the community on an efficient whole building system, those needs can be met consistently with minimal impact on the environment. This is the philosophy that the entire Energy Team believes in and directs our efforts. ”
The team can schedule presentation to help educate building occupants on conservation measures such as where to use more efficient light bulbs in desk lamps, turning off lights when they leave, closing windows when air conditions systems operate, adjusting to campus standard temperatures and use of dual flush toilets – to name a few.
Hacker said that “Our team’s goal is to reduce Guilford College’s energy use and impact on the surrounding environment.” Members of the energy team are: Hacker; Damien Markiewicz, energy data specialist; Dustin Scott, energy data specialist; David Munro, support services assistant; Alexis Goldman, energy use coordinator intern.