Eighteen public colleges and universities in North Carolina are being recognized for their leadership in reducing the amount of energy they use.
Staff in the state environmental agency recently awarded nine community colleges and nine universities or affiliates in North Carolina with Utility Savings Initiative Achievement Awards.
The N.C. Utility Savings Initiative (USI) and the N.C. Division of Environmental Assistance and Customer Service presented the awards to the community colleges and universities that achieved at least 30 percent reductions in energy usage since state laws establishing energy goals for public facilities went into effect. Energy reduction requirements were enacted in 2002 for universities. In 2007, community colleges were required to report their use and cost data to USI but no reduction requirement was established.
“This just shows the great efficiencies that can be achieved when you’re committed to a goal,” said Ted Bush, director of the Division of Environmental Assistance and Customer Service. “By reducing the amount of energy used, our universities and community colleges are also helping the environment by emitting far less air pollution, and reducing their operational costs, which benefits taxpayers.”
The state Utility Savings Initiative works with all 14 state agencies and 21 state universities and affiliates that report their progress toward the energy and water use reduction goals. To help public facilities achieve the 30 percent goal, staff members with the initiative provide assistance in the form of strategic energy management planning, energy performance contracting, on-site energy audits, energy management training and a host of other areas, said Len Hoey, who leads the Utility Savings Initiative.
The following public universities and community colleges reduced energy use by 30 percent: Appalachian State University, Fayetteville State University, UNC Charlotte, UNC General Administration, UNC Wilmington, Western Carolina University, Central Piedmont Community College, Davidson Community College, Pitt Community College, Wake Technical Community College, Beaufort County Community College and Montgomery Community College.
The following public universities and community colleges reduced energy use by 40 percent: UNC Pembroke, UNC TV, Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, Guilford Technical Community College, and Catawba Valley Community College.