Question: What do you get when you combine a green bank, a utility provider, an energy solutions provider, and a university? The answer: modernized HVAC and lighting controls, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and substantial ongoing energy cost savings.
One of the greatest hurdles for schools to achieve energy savings is up-front costs—and another is for facilities managers to have the bandwidth to tackle even more projects. Often a substantial capital outlay is required to make major changes to lighting, HVAC, or other equipment, which can make energy-efficiency projects difficult to pull off, to say nothing of the work needed to coordinate and manage major projects.
But there are workarounds. Thanks to some key local partnerships, GreenerU has helped clear a path toward implementing energy-savings projects sooner—projects that ultimately save real money for the school, while taking some of the burden off schools’ plates.
In 2012, GreenerU, in collaboration with the Connecticut Green Bank (previously the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority) and the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges (CCIC), launched Campus Efficiency Now, a program aimed at advancing energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions in Connecticut’s independent colleges and universities.
Campus Efficiency Now provided schools with a risk-free way to advance energy projects with zero capital outlays and very little effort on the schools’ parts.
The first Campus Efficiency Now project was undertaken at the University of New Haven (UNH). The program focused on efficiency improvements in four buildings: Bartels Hall, Beckerman Recreation Center, Charger Gymnasium, and Peterson Library.
Efficiency measures included automated lighting controls and expansion and optimization of the campus building automation system. Savings came from reduced run hours on lighting and HVAC systems and from a variety of improvements to HVAC control sequences such as smart ventilation controls and more sophisticated strategies for modulating fan systems.
UNH’s Associate Vice President for Facilities Lou Annino is very pleased with the outcome. “GreenerU’s leadership and attention to the program throughout the entire process helped ensure that the project was a success,” he said.
The project officially became operational on January 1, 2014. Since that time, the project has reduced energy costs by more than $8,000 per month on average with UNH retaining 20% of those savings, or approximately $100,000 in net savings over the first five years of operation, all with no capital outlays on the University’s part.
Throughout these past five years, GreenerU has provided technical support and measurement and verification services to ensure that the savings persisted and to monitor the actual savings. As of January 1, 2019, UNH’s obligations under Campus Efficiency Now are complete and 100% of the savings accrue to the university, resulting in an expected $100,000 in annual savings for years to come.
The program impacts go beyond this one project. As Annino indicates, “Our Campus Efficiency Now project really helped establish momentum for additional investments in system and infrastructure upgrades in support of our campus energy management and sustainability efforts.”
Is your school looking for ways to finance energy savings measures and reduce annual utility costs? Your school may qualify for a program such as Campus Efficiency Now! Contact GreenerU at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out.