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Energy Management and Conservation

As I've become more familiar with my new role in Facility Services, one theme that's been consistent from the beginning is energy management and conservation. I hear it most regularly from the student senators that come visit weekly, but it also comes from Enactus students that have been looking for ways for Graceland to become more "green."

 

Projects like composting and recycling are the subject of regular discussions. Students have also regularly asked about monitoring their energy usage on each floor so they can have house contests to see who is making the most improvements. Unfortunately, we don't have that level of monitoring and installing it would be very cost prohibitive (although any residence hall remodel - of which there are none planned - would likely include such an upgrade). I'm told all the electrical wiring in the building is run in such a way it would have to be rerouted or upgrade to be able to monitor each house/floor for energy consumption.

 

One thing Facility Services has done this year to aid in energy management and conservation is we've signed a new contract with Honeywell for a product called Attune. Attune is a remote monitoring service provided by Honeywell where they will watch our building and energy management system (EBI) for alarms and trends and find ways to improve our operation. If we tell them a building is closed at 10:00p, and yet the heat remains on, heating the building to 72 degrees at midnight, they'll ask us questions and eventually lower the heat to something like 62-65 degrees. They expect to save Graceland over $100,000 / year with this service and similar types of monitoring.

 

Fortunately, it goes beyond just that. They'll be able to see things like air handlers running at 100% and a room not getting proper heat. They can remote troubleshoot those cases and let us know if it is something we need to have our guys take care of, or if they'll be dispatching their own tech to repair.

 

Our hope is this service will not only improve energy management and conservation on campus, but also keep more equipment in better operating condition because we are no longer waiting for the campus users of the space to inform us when there is a problem, but being proactive about it.

 

What does this mean to you?

 

If we do our job right, it is likely to mean very little to you. Our intent is to make sure we know the hours of each building and relay that to Honeywell. The times you might notice this in action is if you ever work outside the operational hours of your building. I believe I understand 62-65 to be the lowest they'd target for an overnight change.

 

We'll also provide Honeywell a holiday schedule for each building. For extended unoccupied days, they may lower the temperature even further, but I don't know that.

 

One thing I'd specifically ask each of you to consider if you ever want to make a call to me or anyone in Facility Services about the temperature in your building, especially if it is after hours - should Graceland pay the cost to heat the building at this time?

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