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Ad Hoc Energy Committee

Chair: Dr. Ronald Reigner

Meeting Notes




Bill Gauthier, Bob Watkins, David Bush, Kathy Kral, Lynn Agan,

Kathleen Wagstaff, Kathy Kral, Lauren Kania, Mark Reeves, Mike Renfrow, Nancy Lott, Terri Rubino, Denice King


Guest: Sandra Neuse from the Board of Regents, Office of Facilities


Ron Reigner welcomed everyone to the final meeting of the Ad Hoc Energy Committee and introduced Sandra Neuse.  She is heading up a newly developed BOR Energy Task Force charged with putting energy conservation strategies in place.


Meeting Notes from 11/3/05 were approved with no corrections needed.


Ron Reigner opened the discussion of the revised proposal draft and proceeded with a point by point review of the document.


Bill Gauthier described the process that is expected to happen once our proposal is submitted to PAC: 


-         There will be a series of steps beginning with notification to all departments of the immediate changes to take affect.  Then a new committee will be formed to do further research into on-going conservation measures.  Sub-committees, such as IT & Facilities, will also be organized to address specific areas of concern.  And an overall emphasis will be placed on the importance of communication campus-wide to gather input, announce savings, and motivate participation.


Kathleen Wagstaff –

-         Requests an estimation of the dollar savings we can expect  -  feels this lends emphasis to our proposed changes


Mike Renfrow –

-         Reminds committee the focus is not on exact figures – overall savings will be significant if proposed changes are implemented


Bill Gauthier –

-         Points out that many factors will affect the amounts saved - such as comfortable outdoor temperatures affecting our energy costs (instead of our conservation measures) - so potential savings will be difficult to calculate



Ron Reigner –

-         Asked about using one sample building’s savings as an example



Mike Renfrow –

-         Discussed the benefit of individual buildings being metered to help measure usage/savings for future support of conservation measures


Bill Gauthier –

-         Feels strongly we need a target number on predicted savings for taking the conservation measures we’re proposing


Bob Watkins –

-         Suggests the examination of monthly bills to track usage/savings

-         Explained importance of reducing energy usage during peak hours can have a significant impact on costs


Lynn Agan –

-         Further explained how ‘shedding the load’ by simply shutting off lights in certain buildings can show significant and immediate savings


David Bush –

-         Asked if building thermostats are able to be programmed to also adjust during peak hours

-         Asked about long-term replacement windows for older buildings


Bob Watkins –

-         Points out that funding hasn’t been available for projects such as windows so far, but considering the current energy situation these kinds of preventive measures may become the priority where funding is concerned


Bill Gauthier –

-         Questioned turning off hot water in buildings with no showers or food being served


Lynn Agan –

-         States this may put UWG at risk for possible liability for not having hot water to wash hands


Kathleen Wagstaff –

-         Compliments the conservation suggestions written by SGA (submitted to the committee by Lauren Kania)  - she feels they are quite good and deserve to be recognized as their input

-         Questioned if SGA’s written suggestions would be blended into our current proposal or included as an addendum with our document


Bob Watkins –

-         Notes that the SGA suggestions further support the conservation goals of the committee and the long-term goal of continued communication to address conservation initiatives in the future 


The committee agreed that the ideas submitted by SGA were valuable & creative suggestions and would be added as an addendum to the current proposal.


Mike Renfrow –

-         Suggests the Residence Life department be charged with developing ways to encourage conservation with students (contests, incentives, etc.)


After a brief discussion of prior concerns over longer showers and double flushing, the committee agreed that these issues would be addressed through future conservation education initiatives campus-wide.


Bill Gauthier –

-         Asked that a measure to use light sensors in bathrooms be added to the proposal, since this is an option UWG can pursue quickly


Bill Gauthier –

-         Discussed the differences in types of meetings/conferences and the large impact from reducing face-to-face short meetings


Mike Renfrow –

-         Points out there were already 4 or 5 teleconferences during the last year


Terri Rubino –

-         Sees the reduction of face-to-face conferences as a huge potential for savings, and she feels the state seems to already be trying to implement this change


Bob Watkins –

-         Points out that we always learn something when we spend time talking face-to-face with others in the industry – networking & seeing how others run their campuses can be very educational, so it may not be beneficial to go to teleconferencing completely


Bill Gauthier –

-         Asked Sandra Neuse if utility relief is being considered at the state level


Sandra Neuse –

-         Replied she has not heard of any at this point


Mike Renfrow –

-         Noted he doesn’t feel very optimistic about this option - since Hurricane Katrina occurred, state funds are going elsewhere 

-         Suggested the possibility of a utility cost deferment would go a long way toward softening the blow, however, he’s not sure if this is even an option


Bill Gauthier –

-         Questioned if we know UWG’s energy usage per square footage, since this information can serve as our benchmark to determine if we are improving at conservation year to year


Sandra Neuse –

-         Advised she has a study of comparative data that would cover energy usage per sq. ft. for all state schools – she offered to send a copy to UWG

-         Noted that UWG was “ahead of the curve” compared to other GA schools,  so we may be better off to also compare ourselves to other schools outside the GA system


Mike Renfrow –

-         Suggested we set a target savings

-         Feels it is critical to allow people to share input and have access to the savings results to better develop accountability for conservation on campus


The committee discussed final suggestions/ideas they want to include in the proposal:


-         List names & departments of committee members

-         Endorsement of on-going committee (with sub committees- IT, Facilities, etc.)

-         Top 3 most significant changes we are proposing to be highlighted in the conclusion

-         Set a targeted savings goal of 10-15% for the year


In conclusion, the agreed upon revisions will be made to the proposal, and Dr. Ron Reigner will present it to PAC.


Meeting adjourned