Energy Saving Programs that Provide Environmental and Financial Benefits
Saving the environment isn’t just a goal at Medaille College in Buffalo, NY. It’s a way of life. Concerned about its impact on the environment, the college is taking aggressive steps to reduce its energy consumption.
"We were concerned about reducing the college's carbon footprint and the amount of energy consumed," says Matt Carver, Medaille’s chief financial officer. For help, the college turned to ARAMARK Higher Education, its facilities management provider, to design and implement a comprehensive energy management program. The program provides the college with extensive environmental benefits, and financial savings with no reduction in services or comfort.
The effort began in 2008 when ARAMARK conducted a campus-wide energy assessment to quantify Medaille’s energy use and identify savings opportunities. A comprehensive Five-year plan was developed with goals of reducing energy use by 18 percent as well as paying back all of the college’s investment within that period of time. ARAMARK designed a plan and then implemented the energy saving strategies.
ARAMARK's plan is unique because it provides a combination of operational improvements and capital investments. Collectively, this approach will deliver the highest level of savings and most favorable return on investment. Medaille president Dr. Richard T. Jurasek, along with Nathan Marton, director of operations, and CFO Carver, embraced this approach. "There were things we could do immediately that cost very little but yielded a significant savings," says Marton.
In two dormitories, mechanical cooling was deactivated when spring classes ended and the majority of students moved out. Window air conditioners were installed for students who reside in these halls during the summer. Other cost effective initiatives were implemented as well, such as optimizing the programming that controls the heating and cooling systems. Additionally, ARAMARK developed an energy and sustainability reporting and awareness campaign to engage the entire campus.
Electric consumption is also an area of focus. Energy wasted by idle computers represents a significant opportunity when multiplied by hundreds of campus users. ARAMARK is working with the Medaille's IT department to address this issue, and anticipates annual savings in excess of $5,000. Lighting and control opportunities are also being identified and implemented under the program.
The college has decentralized heating systems and installed equipment to better match future loads with demand. It also introduced automated heating control systems that will reduce energy waste while improving comfort levels. These initiatives should realize additional savings during the upcoming heating season.
The results of ARAMARK's energy program implementation have been impressive. The program's expected 18 percent energy savings were achieved in just the first six months. Total expected savings are now 25 percent, 7 percent higher than the initial goal. Over the five-year program, Medaille expects to realize almost $600,000 in savings. Equally important, the program is expected to improve the college's carbon footprint by reducing the campus carbon dioxide emissions by at least 500 metric tons. This is equivalent to the annual emissions from 90 vehicles, or the energy use of 45 homes in one year.
"The solid relationship we established with ARAMARK has helped the college operate more efficiently and achieve significant energy and monetary savings," says Marton. "We are very pleased with the results."
For more information please call 866.428.1094 or visit aramarkhighered.com.