Energy efficiency partnerships
Monday, July 1, 2013
St. Cloud State aims to trim 20 percent from its $3.7 million annual utility costs, thanks to an Xcel Energy commercial efficiency program.
St. Cloud State is partnering with Seattle-based energy services firm McKinstry in a campus-wide energy efficiency project.
The program is self-funded by energy, utility and operational savings.
Working with McKinstry, St. Cloud State will be the first Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system school to utilize the State of Minnesota's Guaranteed Energy Savings Program.
St. Cloud State has invested in a number of studies over the last few years that will be incorporated into a holistic approach to energy savings.
McKinstry was selected from the pool of 11 energy services companies pre-approved by the state.
"This project balances our fiscal responsibility today in protecting and preserving our community’s assets, while investing in energy efficiency and sustainability for tomorrow," said Tim Norton, director of facilities for St. Cloud State.
Students will have an opportunity to participate in internships offered by McKinstry.
"This is beyond classroom or textbook learning, and it adds value to the educational experience of these select students at SCSU," Norton said.
The program is expected to improve energy efficiency in campus buildings, a move aligns with St. Cloud State's long-standing commitment to reduce carbon emissions, promote environmental responsibility and save money on energy costs.
"We can make a huge impact through these savings," said Tim Norton, St. Cloud State director of facilities management.
"It’s not only about efficiencies. Our job is to provide a safe, comfortable environment for students, faculty and staff to do their work. The fact that we can do this while also lowering our impact on the environment is a win-win situation," Norton said.
The program helps help large commercial customers identify energy saving opportunities within their facilities and implement well-planned, long-term solutions to reduce energy costs.
An energy team helps create a one-to-three year energy management plan that incorporates sustainable energy efficiency into processes and technical projects.
The program reviews heating and cooling systems, lighting, equipment controls, process loads and opportunities for heat recovery as well as analyzing the facility’s overall approach to energy management.
University officials have taken several steps toward a more energy efficient and sustainable campus environment, including an agreement with the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment to be carbon neutral by 2035.
View St. Cloud State's Climate Action Plan (PDF).
The short-term target is a 15 percent reduction by 2017. The mid-term target is a 40 percent reduction by 2024. As part of the agreement, St. Cloud State has agreed to accelerate research and educational efforts regarding sustainability.
St. Cloud State has received recognition in the past for its efficiency achievements including an Xcel Energy 2012 Efficiency Partner Award, an honor given to Minnesota businesses and trade partners who participate in efficiency programs to lower energy costs and reduce their impact on the environment.
St. Cloud State University