Why should community colleges consider energy improvements?
The average Maryland community college spends about $2 million per year on utilities. That’s about $25 to $300 annually per FTE student. Each dollar spent on energy is one less dollar available for operations.
What kind of savings can colleges expect?
Results vary with each college, depending on its size, age and type of construction, quality of maintenance, and occupancy patterns. It’s reasonable to expect about 20% savings from a combination of lighting and space conditioning improvements.
What causes energy cost savings?
Energy expenses are reduced in one or more of these four ways:
- by securing energy commodities at lower prices,
- changing the way occupants use existing appliances and systems,
- making critical changes to the way a facility’s mechanical systems are monitored and maintained, and
- by capital investment to upgrade buildings and their mechanical and electrical systems.
What is an energy audit, and why is it valuable?
An energy estimates the value lost from energy waste and compares it to the cost of remediation. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Also, you can’t make improvements when the opportunities remain invisible. An energy audit is a “road map” to potential energy savings.
Why does it cost money to save money?
Look at it this way: facilities are already spending money for energy waste that they can economically avoid. Simply choose to make improvements when the cost of solutions is less than the cost of the waste.
What is the obligation of program participant?
The participating college signs a memorandum of understanding with the Maryland Energy Administration. This allows MEA to provide up to $20,000 to the college for one of two purposes: (1) to defray the cost of an energy audit. If the audit finds insufficient savings, the college receives up to $20,000 to recoup the cost of the audit; (2) if the audit finds sufficient savings, there is no reimbursement for the audit. Instead, the grant is available to defray the cost of implementing the audit’s improvement recommendations. Participants that find sufficient savings are not obligated to implement improvements, but by doing this, they forfeit the grant.
What is the term of performance?
Pending the negotiation of terms to reflect unique circumstances, participants have two years to follow through on the terms and conditions of the MOU.