Upgrades in energy efficiencies impact DSCC bottom line
Posted: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 6:00 pm
The Messenger 08.15.12
Through a combination of changing energy consumption habits, the upgrading of new heating and air conditioning units, the installation of light sensors, the retrofitting and replacing the remaining older lighting fixtures, along with the participation in ENERNOC, Dyersburg State Community College has seen a $69,044 drop in its utility costs for the fiscal year 2011-12.
“Our faculty and staff have been good stewards of energy use at the college,” said Dr. Karen Bowyer, DSCC president. “Through their conservation efforts and by upgrading to more energy efficient equipment, DSCC continues to improve on its savings on utility bills from year to year. DSCC will use the savings to help us continue to purchase needed equipment for faculty and staff and to make other improvements at the college.”
This summer, the college is implementing the most expensive, but most potentially beneficial, piece of its energy conservation plan — the retrofitting and replacing the remaining older lighting fixtures at all its locations. Many of the lighting fixtures being replaced in the Glover Building on the Dyersburg campus were installed in 1968-69 as a part of the original construction. The fixtures are being replaced with energy efficient models that include motion sensors. By the time the lighting replacement project is completed, it will cost about $140,000 and will be paid for from college plant funds.
In 2009, DSCC’s president’s staff set the course for college-wide energy efficiency by choosing to dedicate funding available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to the project. As a result, the college began aggressively implementing the energy saving recommendations provided by ESG, a firm hired by the Tennessee Board of Regents (DSCC’s governing body) to prepare a detailed energy study. The study provided a list of 10 major energy cost-savings measures that included recommendations for physical plant improvements, water conservation measures and appliance changes.
To date, six of the 10 recommendations have been completed. These include refrigerant flow improvement in DX cooling equipment and replacing the chillers (part of the heating and air conditioning system) in the Dale F. Glover Education Building, the E.H. Lannom, Jr. Gymnasium, the E.B. Eller Administration Building and the Academic Building at the DSCC Jimmy Naifeh Center at Tipton County.
The college also replaced the rooftop air conditioning unit serving the Lannom Gym’s front lobby and replaced the 15-ton condensing unit in the Lannom Gym’s music and band room.
In addition, the college is also removing and/or replacing oversized or no longer needed HVAC equipment.
OGCB Consulting Engineers of Memphis is overseeing the project for DSCC. Center Line Electric of Dyersburg is installing the new lighting systems.
While making changes to the college’s physical plant, the college worked to change its energy consumption habits.
“The best and easiest way to save energy is not to use it,” Jetton said.
To help the DSCC faculty and staff understand the impact energy costs were having on the college’s operating budget, energy scorecards that tracked utility expenses at each DSCC location were presented at Administrative Council meetings. Information and reminders about energy conservation were published in Work in Progress, the college’s faculty and staff newsletter.
All faculty and staff have been asked to turn off computers when not in use and to remove unnecessary appliances.
One particularly effective energy cost-saving measure is DSCC’s participation in EnerNOC, an energy management program recommended by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The college entered the program in the spring of 2011. According to its website, EnerNOC “helps commercial, institutional and industrial organizations use energy more intelligently, pay less for it, and generate cash flow that benefits the bottom line.”