Faculty and staff at Grand Rapids Community College have chalked up a couple million bucks worth of good behavior. Their energy-efficient practices have earned big savings — and now those good habits are earning the college national recognition.
Grand Rapids Community College has achieved approximately $2.2 million in cost savings in the 35 months since forming a strategic alliance with Energy Education, a national energy conservation company, presented its Energy Excellence Award during the GRCC Board of Trustees meeting July 18.
“I give credit to the employees and staff of the college for all their efforts, ideas and commitment – they are the ones who have earned it,” said GRCC President Steven C. Ender. “Everyone embraced this important project and the education the program offers and then followed through by acting on what they learned.”
According to Energy Manager, Dorothy Sadony, the reason that Energy Education programs are distinctive is that they are able to assist the college in developing a “culture of conservation.”
“Energy Education has assisted GRCC in building a customized, people-driven, energy conservation program focusing on reducing consumption through sustainable changes in organizational and human behavior,” said Sadony. As part of the program, she compiles data using a database called EnergyCAP. She enters the college’s monthly utility bills, daily temperature data and other building information. The program uses a 2007 baseline to calculate the college’s savings. She 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.
“We’re just asking everyone to be better stewards of our environment,” said Sadony. “In a world of constrained natural resources, the case for reducing pollution and greenhouse gases is simply the right thing to do.”
This will be the second excellence award the college has received from Energy Education, initially receiving the honor in 2009.
“Grand Rapids Community College has achieved success by consistently implementing the people-oriented approach to energy conservation and maintaining productive efforts at all levels of the organization,” said Dr. William S. Spears, Chairman and Founder of Energy Education. “The President and board, along with other administration, faculty and staff members are to be commended for…being good stewards of the taxpayers’ money and the environment,”
“Together we’ve worked on heating and cooling strategies; made classroom use more efficient; and changed how we handle travel reimbursements, recycling, purchases and design spaces,” Ender said. “And all these efforts are paying off – literally.”
Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for over 32,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several additional locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.
For information regarding Energy Education:
Jan Noel-Smith, Director - Public Relations