SUNY Fredonia has been awarded $168,000 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority to fund an "energy benchmarking," or audit, of 24 major buildings with the goal of reducing energy consumption.
The NYSERDA grant will cover all costs incurred to have engineering firm CHA perform benchmarking and on-site operational assessments of campus buildings containing over 50,000 square feet of space nearly half of the approximate 52 buildings on campus - to identify how energy costs can be lowered through both improved operations and implementation of low-cost or no-cost measures.
"The benchmarking results will provide us great information on current practices and recommendations on how we can save energy," said Kevin Cloos, director of Facilities Services at SUNY Fredonia. "The goal is to learn what we can do better. We can always do better. The information will also help us long-term when we develop future capital projects, deciding where we need to allocate money to help reduce energy costs across the entire campus."
SUNY Fredonia has worked for many years to reduce energy use, Cloos said. Overall energy consumption on campus has been reduced by more than 8 percent during the last 20 years even with the opening of several new buildings and ever increasing use of electronic devices.
The CHA analysis, to take about two months to complete, represents the first building energy audit done on campus in the last dozen years and is believed to be the most comprehensive ever undertaken. The primary objective is to optimize daily operations, thereby reducing energy consumption without significant capital investment.
Potential examples of improvements that have minimal or no costs include: lighting replacements with occupancy sensors, door and window seals, energy management systems, low-flow faucets and shower heads, office wall insulation and boiler controls for hot water reset. Buildings included in the review become eligible for Energy Star certification.
CHA, which has conducted more than 120 NYSERDA-funded Benchmarking energy assessments, began the assessment on Feb. 18. NYSERDA Benchmarking grants are made available to commercial, industrial and institutional applicants.