Ad Hoc Energy Committee
Chair: Dr. Ronald Reigner
Mike Renfrow, Bill Gauthier, Lynn Agan, Andrew Luna, Kathy Krall, John Clower,
Bob Watkins, Kathleen Wagstaff, Lauren Kania, Mark Reeves, David Bush, Chris Huff, Denice King
Mike Renfrow directed the meeting in Dr. Reigner’s absence.
Mike opened the meeting with a request for input on the proposal draft. The draft was emailed to the committee members prior to the meeting for their review.
The committee gave the following suggestions for revision of the proposal:
- Thinks the draft covers the committee’s priorities, but feels we need to add a consideration for taking a monetary portion from each department to cover the deficit we expect. It was agreed this recommendation will be added to the draft.
- Suggested the possibility of Energy Surcharges – for example, charging the students a $15 surcharge to cover the current utility bill.
- Noted this would require board approval
- Feels this option doesn’t address the problem and the overall need for energy conservation.
- Pointed out that energy costs have gone up, UWG didn’t become inefficient. UWG has actually consistently improved its energy efficiency.
- Noted that the burden that students/parents are already paying is already serious, and increasing fees may not be a wise approach.
- Also noted that the surcharge issue could raise some public relations issues that would need to be addressed. However, he feels we should consider adjusting fees appropriately in the future to help with our energy increases.
- Felt the draft didn’t cover the need for HVAC settings to more closely match the needs of the building. It was agreed this recommendation will be added to the draft.
- Questioned if our draft could include in the conclusion the actual dollar savings from adjusting temperature set-points. It was agreed this information will be added to the draft.
- Concerned that low-flow shower heads could actually encourage longer showers.
- Added that the University of Alabama did a study on low-flow shower heads and found there was not an actual savings from using these.
- Pointed out that many baths in previously renovated buildings already have the State required low-flow shower heads (and toilets).
- Reminded the committee that each of the energy saving options presented to PAC will need to be investigated on an individual basis before we rush to implement them in the future.
- Said that Facilities has gotten better regarding conservation, but now we have to really look at our return on investment when spending dollars for future conservation. It is important to say that we have a clear, scientific approach to our solution – we need to put a finger on the individual changes and measure, if any, saving we get.
- Agreed that this kind of measurement can certainly be done for some changes, but we have to remember our primary goal to serve the students and that involves giving them the right kind of environment for learning.
- Explained how the campus is metered at this time – not each building is metered, but that may become a priority in the near future so we can better predict and adjust to better meet our needs.
- Complimented the Facilities department on the job they’ve done already to become energy efficient. However, we can expect to get no relief in cost increases, so that’s why we’re here (as a committee).
- Pointed out that the newer buildings don’t have the variation in temperatures from room to room like the older buildings do. His staff is concerned about how the adjusted temperature set-points will affect them in an older building.
- Offered the solution that if a building temperature cannot be maintained at 68 degrees, then an alternative source of heat will need to be provided. And the flaws in the system will be searched out and repaired when possible.
- Reminded the committee that some older buildings now have offices in places that were originally not intended for that space, and that has affected the HVAC systems in a negative way.
Alternative Energy Sources
- Asked about future consideration for the use of windmill energy.
- Points out that the size of windmills may be a problem.
The committee had a brief discussion of the benefits of windmill energy, but it was pointed out that State funding rarely allows for cutting edge technology. It was agreed to add to our proposal the recommendation for long term consideration of alternative energy sources. Also, this will be added as a possible class project.
- Suggested we put our energy bills online to show how we’re using energy as a campus. It was agreed this will be part of the information provided on the Facilities website in the near future.
- Suggested a Marketing class be given the assignment to come up with a marketing plan to address conservation education on campus.
- Pointed out that this is a long term solution, but it is a very good idea for future consideration.
- Reminds the committee that since 9/11, security has been the main priority where technology is concerned, so we can’t make an across-the-board recommendation to shut off computers. This may jeopardize the security measures in place.
He then passed out an ITL draft, and the committee approved adding this document to the proposal we submit to PAC. It was agreed Chris Huff is tasked with getting a final version of the document done by 11/10/05 for the committee to approve.
- Pointed out that the suggestion of online meetings presents a unique set of problems. He suggested that some training be provided to committee chairs for handling online meetings, since we’re so used to working face-to-face in committees.
- Asked that the proposal divide our suggestions into short & long term solutions. It was agreed this recommendation will be added to the proposal.
- Planned to discuss the topic of energy conservation with SGA, ask for their input, and forward their suggestions/concerns to be added to the proposal.
- Concluded the meeting with a description of the next step for campus conservation. He foresees a long term committee looking at these issues, helping with education, and funneling future ideas to the Facilities Department.
Mike Renfrow closed the meeting with committee approval of the last meeting notes with no corrections needed. He then restated the timeline for the committee to finalize the proposal as follows:
November 10th, 2005 – Final Approval of Proposal
November 15th, 2005 – Proposal Presented to PAC