Greening a Rochester Winter / Summer Part I

Monroe Community College remains committed to saving energy, reducing utility costs, and sustainable practices. Part of this commitment entails adjusting the thermostats in our buildings.  This past winter, temperatures have been set to 70°F in all campus buildings. The nationally recognized standard for heating is 68°F, a standard adopted by Monroe County in 2008.  Our standard will be slightly higher to compensate for the variations in our building envelopes and multiple outdoor entrances.  Facilities Stationary Engineers have lowered the set points across campus. In summer 2010, we will set the thermostats at 76°F, this compares to a national recognized standard of 78°F and a Monroe County adopted figure of 78°F.

MCC spends over $3 million per year on energy and, as the school continues to expand, energy use will continue to increase.  Through the efforts of the Engineering Staff, we have managed to control costs and reduce them from $3.6 million in 2008, to $3.2 million in 2009. Our goal this year is to reduce them again to $3 million. The temperature adjustment is an important part of helping us reach that goal.

Adjusting the temperature set points, however, is not the only way that the college is reducing energy costs. Facilities has been working hard in the past several years to implement various initiatives including the addition of motion sensors for lights in many areas, more efficient lighting systems in the Gym and at the Applied Technologies Center, new energy efficient windows and new building management control devices to control hot and cold air in buildings.  We have also taken a proactive approach to new buildings which have added energy demand while at the same time we have reduced our cost per square foot. Additionally, Facilities is constantly fine tuning air handling unit schedules to allow heating and cooling units to be shut off when buildings and rooms are unoccupied.  We also have applied for grant money to accelerate our efforts and we were recently awarded a NYSERDA grant of $216,365 to install more occupancy sensors in hallways so that lights will be turned off when the halls are empty.

Stay tuned tomorrow for Part II which will feature ways you can help.

Heze Simmons, Vice President
Administrative Services
05/19/2010


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