VERSAILLES, Ky. — Sustainability and conservation are on everyone’s minds, especially in the middle of summer when HVAC systems traditionally are working hard. The Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) has set its sights on ways to conserve and save money, not just during the summer, but long term. KCTCS is realizing big savings on energy costs because of energy savings performance contracts and participation in the Commonwealth Energy Management Control System (CEMCS).
“This is important not only because the system is saving money, but also because it saves our students money,” said KCTCS President Jay Box. “This is an initiative that helps us continue to keep our tuition low while providing a healthy and comfortable environment for learning and working.”
A typical KCTCS college may pay in the neighborhood of $50-$60,000 a month for utilities. Under the energy savings performance contracts, the contracted agency reviews water usage as well as heating and air usage. The contractors also assess buildings and current equipment to determine efficiencies and whether there are savings measures to be found by making changes or enhancements.
Using these contracts, which are regulated by state legislation, also saves money on repairing or purchasing big-ticket items, such as HVAC units, which could cost as much as $150,000 for a KCTCS building.
“Over the last several years, we have looked for a number of ways to cut costs,” Box said. “Energy savings performance contracts are paying off in a big way for us, and we continuously seek additional savings in all areas of our system.”
Currently, seven KCTCS colleges are participating in a second round of energy savings performance contracting and are guaranteed savings exceeding $38.8 million over the life of the contracts. The first round of energy savings performance contracting resulted in savings exceeding $28 million for the 16 KCTCS colleges.
The KCTCS System Office in Versailles also recently earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR certification. ENERGY STAR certified buildings are verified to perform in the top 25 percent of buildings nationwide, based on energy use that takes into account occupancy, hours of operation and other key metrics.