The physical plant participates in a Strategic Energy Management (SEM) program to track the gas and electricity usage in ten selected buildings across campus. Physical plant personnel meet with a team from Energy Trust of Oregon monthly to discuss reasons for any increases or decreases in savings, then strategize maintenance solutions to minimize energy usage. As the University meets planned milestones we also earn financial incentives to reinvest in energy efficiency projects, which has allowed us to complete projects such as large-scale upgrades to LED lighting and replacing older pieces of equipment with newer and more efficient ones.
The buildings that have been enrolled in this program since 2015 were chosen because they presented the greatest opportunities for increased savings and efficiency, and to represent different types of campus facilities. The enrolled buildings are: Buckley Center, Chiles Center, Clark Library, Corrado Hall, Franz Hall, Haggerty Hall, Kenna Hall, Mago Hunt, Swindells, and Tyson Hall. In 2019, the physical plant reduced electricity usage across those ten buildings by 134,093 kWh and gas usage by 3,197 Therms.
Are you curious about what the energy impact of closing our campus this spring due to COVID precautions looks like? Here is some data for electricity at the Chiles Center, one of the biggest energy users on campus, across the first five months of 2019 and 2020. You can see the overall reduction in usage due to strategic maintenance management in January and February, then the rapid decrease following the closure of campus.