SIDEBAR: Hire An Energy Officer, Create Competition To Truly Save Energy
Part 3 of a 3-part article on how educational facilities can implement energy-saving strategies.
Having an energy officer in charge of identifying and helping to implement energy conservation measures is crucial to effectively achieving the college’s savings goals. The energy officer, as well as the college’s energy savings goal, will require buy-in and support from everyone at the college, from the president down to the students.
The energy officer may be the head of the facilities department, or may be a separate position. Regardless, the energy officer and the facilities team are integral to any energy savings program, as they will be the team that will be required to maintain any energy conservation measures that are implemented. They are also best situated to help save money because they really understand how building systems operate to determine the best ways to save energy.
Recently, colleges have begun implementing energy awareness programs as a cost-effective approach to energy savings. An energy awareness program is an energy conservation measure that the entire campus can take part in. Many times, these take the form of competitions between dormitory residents, with rewards for the team or dorm that saves the highest percentage of energy. These competitions promote good habits like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or turning off the lights when leaving a dorm room. However, these programs don’t truly address the long-term energy saving opportunities that many colleges need to implement.