Faculty and staff at Kalamazoo Valley Community College have chalked up over a million dollars worth of good behavior. Their energy-efficient practices have earned big savings — and those good habits are earning the organization national recognition.
The college has achieved $1,400,434 in cost savings in 28 months since forming a strategic alliance with Cenergistic, a national energy conservation company. Cenergistic representatives presented college officials with an Energy Excellence Award during the June 11 Board of Trustees meeting.
“Reaching this savings mark is a significant milestone,” said Dr. William S. Spears, chairman and founder of Cenergistic. “Kalamazoo Valley Community College has achieved success by consistently implementing the organizational behavior-based approach to energy conservation and maintaining productive efforts at all levels of the organization. The President and board, along with other administration, faculty and staff members are to be commended for clearly fulfilling their commitment to being good stewards of the taxpayers’ money and the environment. Strong support from president Marilyn Schlack and the board have created an atmosphere of cooperation that should continue to grow and ensure even greater success well into the future. I am extremely pleased to present Kalamazoo Valley Community College with our Energy Excellence Award. The college joins a very committed group of organizations across the country working hard to achieve energy savings so the dollars saved can be redirected to educational needs.”
A key benefit of the Cenergistic program is that all costs come out of the existing utility budget, with savings projected to more than pay for the program. Additional savings can be redirected to other parts of the budget. Many organizations credit the program with helping keep personnel and programs that would otherwise have fallen victim to budget cuts — a very real concern with today’s school funding crisis.
As part of the program, Kalamazoo Valley’s Energy Specialist Ted Forester tracks energy consumption — including electricity, water, sewer, natural gas and fuel oil — using energy-accounting software. He compares current energy use to a baseline period and calculates the amount of energy that would have been used had conservation and management practices not been implemented. By tracking consumption and analyzing energy use, he can quickly identify and correct areas that need immediate attention.
Mike Collins, Vice President of College and Student Relations, said students, staff and faculty have all helped to ensure that the energy conservation plan is a success. “We’re proud of the way we’ve all worked together to conserve resources,” Collins said. “We’ve avoided costs by reducing our energy consumption while maintaining a comfortable atmosphere in all of our facilities.”
Cenergistic is a technology-powered, data-driven energy conservation company. Cenergistic helps organizations reduce consumption of electricity, natural gas, fuel oil and water. Its proven approach is built on a proprietary methodology, which optimizes clients’ infrastructure, improves internal processes and changes behavior to ensure that savings endure. This approach empowers the average client to save 20 to 30 percent off expected utility bills. For the past five years, Cenergistic has earned national recognition from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, including the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award in 2011, 2012 and 2013.