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Ad Hoc Energy Committee

Chair: Dr.Ronald Reigner

Meeting Notes




Bill Gauthier, Lynn Agan, Nancy Lott, Trey Young, Linda Picklesimer, John Clower, Bob Watkins, Kathleen Wagstaff, Tom Mackel, Joan Drammeh,

Lauren Kania, Nina Saxon, Terri Rubino, Chris Huff, Denice King


HANDOUTS:  University System of Georgia’s Measures 2nd Report - Report showing the conservation ideas that have already been submitted from the President to the Chancellor.


Dr. Reigner called the meeting to order.  Introductions were given by all members.


Explanation of committee origin:

Bob Watkins gave a power-point presentation to PAC (President’s Advisory Council) highlighting the current energy crisis on campus, and an Ad Hoc Energy Committee was formed to meet 4 times and develop a plan for conservation that will be presented to PAC on November 15th, 2005.


Reigner provided the committee’s Vision Statement & Purpose (developed by PAC):


Vision Statement

-         UWG will become a leader within the University System of Georgia for energy conservation.  The development of the energy conservation plans and programs will support excellence in a personal environment.


-         To provide information about UWG’s energy management policy and to solicit support for future conservation efforts which involves students, faculty, and staff.


Bob Watkins gave committee members a brief history of the conservation measures already taken and a synopsis of the current situation:


9 Year Look at Utility Costs (graph was shown to committee):

-         Although we’ve somewhat maintained our usage rates with minimal increases every year, however with current rates as high as they are we now have serious concerns for utility budgeting. 

-         Facilities is already doing things to be efficient; and the University has been cognizant and supportive of the need to sometimes spend more ‘up-front’, in order to be more efficient in the long-run.


Today’s Situation

-         Cost of utilities are increasing rapidly

-         Campus is growing in number of buildings/square footage and students

-         Water shortages and conservation are a major concern for this community because of dry seasons

-         Natural gas reached an all time high in FY 04 when it increased to 91 cents per therm.

-         Gasoline costs are out of control.  Today’s price at UWG’s pump is $2.98 per gallon.

-         We anticipate a $400,000 budget deficit in the energy/ utility category for this year.

-         We need an energy management program with policies, upper management support and campus buy in.



Reigner then outlined the agenda for the committee:


Discussion topics to cover

-         current ideas being considered

-         essential travel

-         scheduling – both classes & buildings

-         temperature set points

-         bus routes

-         lighting controls

-         technology


9 Conservation Tips & Practices to Consider:

-         Use your desktop lamp; why light a tennis court to read a sheet of paper?

-         Use compact fluorescent lamps to save energy and cut pollution.

-         For three copies or less, use the printer; for more, use the copier.

-         Laser printers use 300 watts; inkjets use only 10, for similar quality.

-         Using the "stand-by" button on your copier will lighten your energy load by 70%.

-         A computer CRT monitor uses 60 watts of power; turn it off if you leave for more than 10 minutes. When buying a new computer, ask for an LCD monitor instead; it cuts power consumption by about half.

-         Recycling paper reduces water use by 60%, energy by 70%, and cuts pollution in half.

-         Burn carbohydrates not hydrocarbons: ride your bike to work and on campus.

-         Airplanes burn 70 gallons of fuel a minute. Teleconference is a real energy super-saver.


Overall Objectives

-         Develop policies that govern the University community on energy usage.

-         Promote the routine ways to save energy, i.e. turn off lights, close windows/doors, shutdown computers when not in use

-         Develop policies for use of University vehicles

-         Develop policies on flex scheduling

-         Promote personal conservation


Reigner concluded with a request for input from the committee members and the following call to action: 


UWG will be a leader within the University System of Georgia in energy conservation and developing energy management plans and programs that supports excellence in a personal environment.


A lively debate ensued among the committee members covering the following ideas:


Reward System for Usage Reduction

John Clower – 

-         His concerns are focused around Residents Halls.  He noted the difficulty in getting students to by-in with shutting off lights, stereos, TVs, etc.

-         Questioned possibility of setting up a reward system (prize)  for the buildings/students that become most efficient




Lauren Kania –

-         As a student herself, she agrees the reward system is a good idea - even on a small scale (pizzas, for example)

Andrew Luna –

-         Based on his past experience, competitions tended not to work at the University of Alabama. Students tended to feel that they pay a lot to live there, so they want to do whatever they want.

-         He suggested stickers on light switches as a reminder to conserve – this seemed to work at the University of Alabama.


Measuring Utility Usage

Andrew Luna –

-         Hot water boilers – what about computerized systems that monitor times & temps for better efficiency?

Bill Gauthier –

-         Questioned metering of electricity in Res Halls – this would help us get a handle on how/when usage is high, or we could consider possibility of charging for utilities.


General discussion of how to monitor usage for buildings – possibly using duty cycle switches.


Educational Programs

Linda Picklesimer –

-         Suggested  educational programs on campus to educate & promote conservation measures


Adjusting Building Temperatures

Bob Watkins –

-         Advised that average temperature of buildings is a significant factor that could have a huge financial impact


Andrew Luna –

-         Questioned possibility of cutting money from the travel budget and putting that money toward the utility budget

Bill Gauthier –

-         Advised that we can’t mandate this kind of budget cut – we could make each department responsible for cutting money from their budget (to be put toward utilities) in the way they see is best for their dept.

-         Suggested we first consider the ideas that will have the most impact on the budget


Scheduling Options

Trey Young –

-         Suggested consider offering the option of Residence Halls that are only open Mon-Fri.  He noted that a majority of students already leave campus every weekend, so offering this alternative housing would allow UWG to close down the Res Hall over the weekend for energy conservation.

-         Also offered suggestion to help keep students on campus over weekends by promoting more activities like concerts on campus.  If we’re keeping the dorms open anyway, we want students to stay on campus and spend their money here.

Bob Watkins –

-         Noted that flex schedules could be very beneficial to our employees

Nancy Lott –

-         Regarding flex scheduling, we need to assure that rotating staff provide the needed coverage for services.

Andrew Luna –

-         His department already tried flex scheduling over summer and found it could be problematic from a management standpoint.


A general discussion of concerns over flex schedules covered the following:

-         Problem for staff that can’t be closed some days

-         Students’ inconvenience from services being closed some days

-         Some buildings can’t benefit from only certain departments being closed within the building

-         If heat/cooling is pre-set to shut off before people go home (to help in cool-down process), they may hear it shut off and immediately call Facilities.


Trey Young –

-         Suggested proper landscaping on campus – more shade for cooling, blocking winds with trees, etc.


Bill Gauthier –

-         Clarified that there are 2 objectives for this committee: deal with this as a budget issue brought on by the energy crisis, and reduce energy costs in the long run.

-         Advised that the report the committee develops needs to identify immediate energy/cost saving ideas and also addresses long term education for better conservation

Bob Watkins –

-         Pointed out the key things that would make a significant difference in energy conservation –maximize use of building scheduling on campus and set points control campus-wide.



Ron Reigner closed the discussion with a reminder our next meeting will Thursday the 27th, at 2:30 pm in UCC 312.


Meeting adjourned.