Parkland College’s Unique Approach Funds Energy Efficiency Projects
In central Illinois, Parkland College has made an ongoing commitment to energy efficiency with a unique approach to project funding. As part of the national Billion Dollar Green Challenge , Parkland maintains a self-managed green revolving fund that provides seed money for ongoing energy-saving projects. Incentives and support from Ameren Illinois, the college’s local utility, have been a catalyst to help Parkland achieve more than $200,000 in annual energy savings (and counting) - a solid start on its $1 million goal.
Seth Rients, Green Revolving Fund Coordinator for the college, seeks energy savings in every corner of the one-million-square-foot campus. As the implementer for Ameren Illinois’ energy efficiency program, Leidos has become an ally in this treasure hunt, providing technical expertise and project support to motivate their success.
“Our goal is to save energy and money and to re-invest in future projects. Ameren Illinois incentives make projects economically viable,” said Rients. “Partnering with Ameren Illinois was a no-brainer for me.”
Parkland has built a strong foundation to achieve its goals through Ameren Illinois’ Strategic Energy Management (SEM) program. As part of the SEM program, Leidos’ energy advisors assist Parkland in setting up a structure and an energy team focused on reducing energy use. With smart energy use on the agenda, Parkland’s SEM team is creating a culture of sustainability throughout the campus.
The tremendous results achieved by Parkland have generated the energy team’s drive and excitement for continuous improvement. Between June 2017 and June 2018, the college tackled more than 15 efficiency projects, ranging from lighting and HVAC to submetering and SEM. During that time, the college received nearly $24,000 in utility incentives and cut its annual energy use by 170,000 kWh and 5,600 therms – equivalent to reducing carbon emissions on campus by 165 tons.
Continuing the momentum, in fall 2018 Ameren Illinois provided over $200,000 in custom incentives for a building automation project that would bring three campus buildings up to modern energy code requirements and incorporate chiller optimization controls. Those incentives covered 60 percent of project costs and reduced the payback period to just 1.25 years. The college also took advantage of deep discounts from Ameren Illinois to replace 1,700 linear fluorescent bulbs with high-efficiency LED lighting.
“What Parkland accomplished in a single year is remarkable, and the college continues to increase its efforts — and we’re with them every step of the way,” said Keith Martin, Director of Energy Efficiency for Ameren Illinois. “In an era of budget cuts, we’re proud to help educational institutions get the most bang for their energy buck.”
Leidos designs, implements, and manages performance-based energy efficiency and demand-side management programs across the U.S., from Hawaii to New York. Learn more about innovative approaches to energy efficiency programs here.