By Kristin Hashimoto
The University of Hawaii Community Colleges (UHCC), will save a projected $58 million in energy costs over the next 20 years. Johnson Controls, a leading energy solutions and technology company, was awarded the energy conservation contract by the UHCC, with support from the Hawai’i State Energy Office.
This initiative will span ten UHCC campuses statewide, which is comprised of seven degree-granting institutions, three University Centers, and includes education centers on Moloka’i, Maui, Lana’i, and on Oahu, in Wai’anae.
Energy solutions include: utilization of solar power for hot water, lighting retrofits (which replace components of current lighting systems with energy efficient counterparts), electric car charging stations, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) replacements.
These changes will impact the school’s 34,000 students currently enrolled statewide. The campuses will conserve approximately 6 million kilowatt hours per year, for a reduction of 23% of their yearly energy needs. UHCC is preparing for a more sustainable future, as fossil fuels continue to be consumed with rapacity worldwide. Energy consumption can be reduced by changing the amounts/hours of use, or, by replacing components in existing technologies to be more energy efficient.
Inherently, the schools simply cannot have lights out, computers off, and sauna-like classrooms without air conditioning. Instead of trying to function with less operating hours of their existing technologies, an overhaul of energy hogs such as HVAC systems and lighting will create energy savings. UHCC will also employ a full-time energy manager to maximize these efforts.
This energy initiative will coincide with sustainability curriculum offered at the UHCC campuses. “The university is applying best practices in sustainability to implement an energy savings program while teaching students about the importance of conservation in anticipation of the growing demand for expertise in energy efficiency and sustainability,” said Jim Simpson, director, Higher Education Energy Solutions of Johnson Controls.
“Our demand and usage of energy will decrease, and our students will benefit from global best practices as they train for the green collar jobs of tomorrow,” said John Morton, vice president for community colleges of the University of Hawai’i.
For more information on the UHCC campuses visit http://uhcc.hawaii.edu. For information on Johnson Controls go to www.johnsoncontrols.com.