Jones County Junior College earns Environmental Excellence Award

Written By: Teresa Martin
Email Address: teresa.martin@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2013-01-17 16:17:11

ELLISVILLE – Jones County Junior College administrators are pleased to be able to save more than 1.2 million dollars in energy costs over the last 32 months but those good habits are also earning national recognition. After forming a strategic alliance with Cenergistic, a national energy conservation company, Jones has seen a 28.13 percent cost savings or $1,214,399, earning the two-year college Cenergistic’s Environmental Excellence Award.

“Reaching this level of savings at this stage of the program is a significant achievement. Jones County Junior College has done an excellent job of implementing Cenergistic’s organizational behavior-based approach to energy conservation and maintaining productive efforts at all levels of the organization. The administration and every employee are to be commended for clearly fulfilling their commitment to being good stewards of the organization’s energy dollars and the environment,” said Dr. William S. Spears, Chairman and Founder of Cenergistic.
“Strong support from everyone involved in the organization has created an atmosphere of cooperation that should continue to grow and ensure even greater success well into the future. I am extremely pleased to present Jones County Junior College with our Environmental Excellence Award.”
Cutting costs means maintaining temperatures in buildings or turning off heating and air conditioning when the facility is not being used. Faculty and staff were asked to cut the waste of energy by turning off computers, lights, and other powered items when they are not in use. 
“It takes leadership from the top down to be so successful,” said Cenergistic’s Regional President, Dr. Truman Atkins said to JCJC Board of Trustees members.  “You should be very proud of your accomplishments in being able to redirect energy costs to the college. You have made a significant impact financially and environmentally.”
JCJC’s Energy Specialist, Brian Ginn is responsible for tracking energy consumption which also includes water, sewer, natural gas and fuel oil, using energy-accounting software. He 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. By tracking consumption and analyzing energy use, he can quickly identify and correct areas that need immediate attention.
“In a time when we are facing limited resources, the energy savings program is a way to help reduce the college’s overall expenses. This energy savings program also allows us to be good stewards of the environment. I hope Jones is setting a good example for students and our community by showing them how easy it is to save money and save our environment by making small changes,” said JCJC President, Dr. Jesse Smith.
A primary benefit in partnering with Cenergistic is the savings from conservation, more than pays for the program and all costs come out of the existing utility budget. Additional savings can be redirected to other parts of the budget. Globally, the energy conservation program delivers an environmental benefit from a reduced carbon footprint. Energy not used prevents the emission of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. According to EPA/EGrid figures, in the first 32 months of the program, Jones County Junior College saved 50,581 MMBTU, the equivalent of 9,145 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions being prevented, or 1,641 cars removed from the road, or 233,916 pine trees grown for 10 years.
“We are getting everyone in our complex organization to do every day for years, what you struggle to get your own family members to do at home.  Conserving energy isn't easy; it requires a serious commitment.  We're creating a culture of energy conservation that is saving jobs, programs, and the environment,” said Ginn.
After partnering with Cenergistic’s experts in natural gas and electricity, water and sewer, HVAC systems, Energy Management Systems (EMS) and mechanical systems, behavior modification, communications, grounds care, data analysis, information systems management, organization development, construction management, human resources, and utility rate structures, Ginn and JCJC Physical Plant director, Michael Bradshaw implemented the conservation program. They were trained to examine and analyze all areas of energy use at Jones to ensure it is being used as efficiently as possible by following Cenergistic’s energy management program. 
“This is a great example of team work with a large group working toward a common goal,” said JCJC Physical Plant Director, Michael Bradshaw. “This program has been a great learning tool for our physical plant employees. Cenergistic routinely sends different experts to our campus to help us audit buildings and equipment to help our staff pin point potential problems that could cause excess energy consumption. We benefit from their experience as employees and we’re being good stewards of our finances and environment.”
Cenergistic’s innovative energy management program trains client personnel to implement behavioral and organizational change that substantially reduces energy consumption without the purchase of new equipment. The program is funded solely and rapidly by the savings it generates, allowing clients to redirect saved energy dollars to other priorities. In 26 years, Cenergistic has worked with more than 1,250 educational, ministry and health care organizations, helping clients save over $3 billion in utility costs. Cenergistic earned the 2011 and 2012 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award from the United States Environmental Protection Agency and was named ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for 2009 and 2010.

 

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