Innovative Ideas Help the Alamo Colleges Conserve Energy and Water and Save Money!
The Facilities Team would like to share with you the latest cost cutting ideas that have resulted from the Alamo Ideas initiative.
Building Shutdowns Expanded To All Holidays and Breaks
As a cost saving measure over the last few years, the Alamo Colleges have switched to a four-day week during June and July, with a "no use of buildings" policy in effect for Fridays during this time. Exceptions are made in special circumstances.
Now, this policy has been expanded to encompass all scheduled holidays and breaks, in order to realize additional utility and operational cost savings. During these holiday/break periods, building energy use will be reduced by turning off lights and air conditioning, although all power to buildings will not be shut off.
Not all buildings will be equally affected. Buildings that will be considered for shutdown are those that are non-critical (classrooms and office areas) and on the central plant distribution loops. Critical buildings that are required to operate during shutdown periods and those not on the central plant distribution loops will be used to house activities/special events that cannot be canceled. The use of these buildings will help minimize utility costs in situations that are unavoidable.
For buildings that will be shut down the following actions will be taken to reduce energy consumption:
• Temperature setpoints during unoccupied hours in the summer will be set at 85-87 degrees
• Temperature setpoints during unoccupied hours in the winter will be set at 60-65 degrees
• All computers will be shut down. IT can implement energy savings utilities for all computers remotely
• Non-essential equipment will be turned off
For exceptions to the full utility shut downs, the respective college president has to approve this request after submitting the request and justification to facilities.
Set the Thermostats to Save
Keep a sweater or jacket handy this winter as the Alamo Colleges implement a new policy to keep room temperatures within the recommended limits for optimum energy conservation. You may not even notice the difference, but it will save us $250,000 in FY13.
FYI—the majority of Alamo Colleges' buildings are on a temperature control system with standardized settings. As a new policy, these settings will be put into practice district-wide. Thermostats will be set at 69 degree for heating in winter and 74 degrees for cooling in summer, with a two degree variance allowed. This should save on energy costs while still maintaining a comfortable workplace. It will mean, however, that building temperatures cannot be adjusted to meet individual temperature perceptions. For questions about specific building/room temperatures, please contact:
NLC Facilities Hotline: 486-5666 (David Wissmann, Mae Taylor-Landry or Mike Salazar)
NVC Facilities Hotline: 486-4888 (Vanessa Valenzuela, Tony Bravo or Bernie Zertuche)
PAC Facilites Hotline: 486-3888 (Sergio Rivera, Monica Boyd or Marina Lopez)
SAC Facilities Hotline: 486-1235 (David Ortega, Mary Abundis or Rebecca Munoz)
SPC Facilities Hotline: 486-2888 (Sherry Toliver, Melinda Viagran or Paula Mata-Williams)
Sheridan St. Complex: 485-0194 (Rick Nix or Elia Faz)
Houston St. issues may be addressed by contacting either the SAC or Sheridan St. contact.
8300 and 7990 Pat Booker Rd. issues may be addressed by contacting NLC hotline.
Our Landscaping Is Getting Greener To Save Water and $$$$
We're also making some changes in the landscaping at all the Alamo Colleges' locations in order to realize a potential $300,000 savings on our irrigation costs in FY13.
Watering schedules may be adjusted or reduced, and high water use plantings, such as grass, will be replaced with drought-tolerant plantings wherever possible. So if the grass is a little less green in places, just remember it means we're getting greener to conserve water and save money.
Thank you for your cooperation as we strive to reduce costs and operate more efficiently.