Innovations that Support Sustainability and Baylor Values
The Baylor Energy Awareness Program builds on the following Baylor core conviction:
Encourage the understanding and care of the natural world as a matter of Christian stewardship.
Investment in Technical Innovation
- An electrical substation was built that saves $600,000 a year in electricity costs and improves reliability. The electrical capacity has been increased to a level capable of supporting campus expansion efforts for the next 50 years.
- An industry-leading wholesale energy contract was negotiated directly with an energy broker, rather than the usual retail electricity provider, that provides a fixed rate for electricity and saves the university $2,000,000 annually.
- Energy management was integrated with facility operations in order to diagnose and correct utility system interrelationship issues to improve sustainability and save money.
- All newly constructed academic buildings will be LEED-certified. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) requires an increased commitment to innovative, sustainable design.
- A preventive maintenance plan was implemented that saves money and increases building occupant comfort, including using the central Energy Management System (EMS) computers to centrally troubleshoot and schedule building operation.
- Lighting and HVAC systems have been upgraded to modern energy efficient technologies. This is an on-going process.
Partnership with Campus Living & Learning (CL&L) and the University Sustainability Council (USC)
- Working hand-in-hand with CL&L to launch Baylor Energy Madness, a residence hall energy savings competition, the Baylor Energy Awareness Program developed a deeper relationship with this area of campus. This relationship has allowed greater communication with students living in residence halls. The competition could not have happened without the full cooperation of CL&L. The synergy created here has given the Energy Awareness Program the opportunity to share information and post tips about energy and water savings throughout the residence halls.
- Stickers and flyers were also developed in conjunction with the USC to post in residence hall laundry rooms with tips for saving energy and water while doing laundry.
Partnership for Scheduling and Prudent and Best Use
Baylor's electricity and natural gas consumption were reduced by 5% as a result of the implementation of a focused facility scheduling program aimed at better matching the individual energy needs of the campus community with the operation of the building systems. Significant savings were obtained on holidays, weekends, during the summer and other non-occupancy periods. Current goals are to take this process to the next level by performing more detailed occupancy assessments to fine tune heating and air-conditioning (HVAC) operation. An increasing partnership with the entire Baylor community can really make the prudent and best use of energy a reality.
The EnergyZone website is the prime source for students to monitor energy used by their residence hall. The site shows energy use and rankings of competing teams during Facebook competitions. In addition, it facilitates student awareness through links to social media sites including, Facebook and Twitter as well as provide energy saving tips the students can use at school and at home. EnergyZone promotes sustainability by encouraging saving, recycling, and green living practices.
Some of the key features of the EnergyZone include:
- Photos to recognize previous competition winners
- Frequent updates communicating news and competition information
- Clickable 3-D campus map
- Tips about how to win the competition
- Baylor Energy Awareness Program contact information
- Competition screen showing cumulative team points, current competitions in progress and up-to-the-minute energy use for each residence hall
- Energy usage for each residence hall - hour, last 24 hours, the past week or the year
- Comparison of building energy usage to typical usage for each building
- Current weather data