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Energy Committee

Chair: Dr. Ronald Reigner

Meeting Notes




Chris Huff, David Bush, Kathleen Wagstaff, Linda Picklesimer, Lauren Kania, Mark Reeves, Mike Renfrow, Nancy Lott, Ron Reigner, Terri Rubino, Bob Watkins, John Roessler, Van Edwards, Patty Jiles, Bob Swanson, and Denice King

Handouts: Harvard Gazette article, End of the Fossil Fuel Era?  by Alvin Powell, Utilities Comparison Charts, and Earth Day PowerPoint Presentation (hardcopy).

Mike Renfrow opened the meeting with a welcome to all the returning committee members and to the new attendees at this meeting.  Dr. Reigner had a prior commitment and joined the meeting shortly after it began.


Mike announced that this meeting would provide news of good success through the efforts of the Energy Committee thus far.  Updates were to be given by the Facilities Department, the ITS sub-committee, and the Education sub-committee. He then turned over the meeting to Bob Watkins, Director of Facilities.


Facilities Update


Bob discussed the Harvard Gazette article End of the Fossil Fuel Era? and summarized its main point as “gas prices are as cheap as they’ll ever be.”  Conservation efforts must be considered a long-term effort and commitment. 


Bob then reviewed the Utilities Comparison Charts developed by his department to provide information on campus energy usage, costs, and consumption savings.  The results show that we have reduced our energy consumption of natural gas.  Similar charts will be available on the website being developed by the Education Sub-Committee.  Bob noted that these charts are still in a draft form, as the best format to display this complicated data has not been finalized.


IT was noted that the Work Information Center has received 39 hot/cold complaints to date.  Bob noted this is an average amount of calls for this time of year.


Bob announced that the Natural Gas contract was changed on March 6th.  This positive change was a result of our negotiating a 25% decrease in therm costs.  The savings from this decreased rate should be approximately $172,000, over the next 12 months.


Concluding the Facilities update, Bob noted the following issues are still being addressed:


·        Information for web page development

·        Weekend building schedules

·        Review of Summer class schedules


ITS Update


Chris Huff and Kathy Kral advised that the ITS sub-committee is actively reviewing the current technology practices in their department and across campus, in an effort to uncover energy savings approaches/strategies.


For example: Chris noted that the purchasing process is an area that could offer energy savings, if we consider some changes to the system we currently use to purchase technology equipment.


Kathy Kral and Stacey Gilley are working to develop the Energy Education website. 


Education Update


The Energy Education sub-committee is providing the ITS department the content to put on the website. Due to technical difficulties, the site was not able to be viewed at this meeting.  The website address will be mailed to the committee members for their review & feedback before it is announced to the public. 


The suggestion was made that the Education Committee also consider sending positive feedback to the All Faculty/Staff listserv on a regular basis (monthly?).  This would be most effective coming from multiple people and dispersed thru different venues ( FACEBOOK, Dr. Sethna’s Coffee, Cookies, & Conversation discussions – possible ways to get the message out?)


It was noted that an advertisement could be purchased to put our message on FACEBOOK – this will be pursued by the Education Committee.


Dr. Reigner has approved the design of the “Lights Out” stickers that will be used around campus to remind people to turn off the lights as you leave a room.  The sticker design was originally created by Nancy Lott, so special thanks was given for letting us utilize this design.


Bob Watkins has ordered 2000 stickers and expects them to arrive before the end of the month.




The attached PowerPoint presentation unveils plans to celebrate Earth Day on April 13th, 2006. UWG Senior, Lauren Kania, is handling the arrangements for this celebration as part of her responsibilities as a SRAP student working in the office of University Communications and Marketing.  Lauren gave this presentation to the committee and added the following details:


·        Volunteers will be needed from the committee to ‘man’ the Energy Committee table at the celebration.  Primarily the volunteers would provide information and answer questions.

·        The hope is that Earth Day celebrations will be continued in the future as the next SRAP students pick up this project every year and even improve upon the celebration for continued growth.

·        The funds that are raised through Earth Day activities will be given to the Ferst Program.  This is a charitable organization that is providing books to children.  Ferst will also have an information table at the celebration.

·        Chris Geiger has agreed to be the advisor for the event.  L

·        Lauren noted the budget is not large, but most of the funds are coming from sponsorship.  

·        The Residence Halls have been invited to participate in the fund-raising activities.


·        The design used on the “Lights Out” stickers is being changed a little and used for promotional items such as t-shirts, Frisbees, etc.




Other Concerns


Terri Rubino from Human Resources discussed the following:


·        Requiring direct deposit will help conserve energy as less paper will be used for printing checks

·        Expressed concern for scheduling issues that will impact payroll


§         July 4th is on a Tuesday, so she is nervous that the University will be closed Monday

§         Wondering if the committee will be making a recommendation to close Monday for cost effectiveness

§         Wants this issue to be addressed as soon as possible


The committee noted that classes are scheduled for Monday the 3rd, and grades are due July 5th


It was suggested that Terri talk to Mr. Gauthier and ask him to bring this issues to attention at a PAC meeting for resolution




Dr. Reigner thanked everyone for coming and asked everyone to review the website.  He is also very excited about the student involvement with Energy Conservation and the Earth Day plans.


The committee decided the future meetings will be announced when the need arises to meet as a committee.  Other issues may be handled via email.


Meeting adjourned.