How Florida State University Established an Effective Energy Conservation Program

For the second year in a row, Florida State University has been named 2014’s “Most Efficient High Quality University in the Country” by U.S. News & World Report. Establishing an effective energy conservation program was one of many key elements that allowed the university to attain national recognition for efficiency.

Jim Stephens, Director of Utilities & Engineering Services

Use appropriate technology.
Process simplification has been key in maintaining FSU’s status as a national leader in conservation. In recent years, well intentioned design teams have specified every type of energy reduction technology conceivable without fully considering the consequences. The problem is that some technology is very difficult to maintain over the life of the system. A design philosophy that only puts in what equipment is necessary, reliable and maintainable is the only way to assure that project return on investment meets the target.

Plan and collaborate.
At FSU, we believe in long-range capital planning. If a project within a facility can be integrated into other planned projects, it meets multiple needs and potentially gets more done for fewer dollars. What helps our institution keep a holistic view is that multiple groups report to Dennis Bailey, our Senior Associate Vice President for Facilities. The Design & Construction, Utilities & Engineering Services, and Facilities Maintenance teams all meet on a regular basis to share capital plans. If the maintenance team has a replacement project planned, for example, and an energy project is planned for the same building, the project scopes are compared to see if there is a way to drive value.

Use all of your tools.
Establishing trust between an energy partner and university continues to be critical. If cost and savings are not understood, the return on investment of any project can not be accurately determined. When an institution utilizes an energy services provider, it is necessary to select an organization that shares your goals and values. Good or bad, your institution has to live with the results.

Hear more from Jim and other educational leaders in the upcoming panel discussion: Creating a college of choice: overcoming infrastructure challenges to make it possible
April 21
SACUBO Annual Meeting
New Orleans


Most Popular