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Oct. 18, 2016
By Lexi Ryan, media relations assistant
Northwest Missouri State University’s energy program was awarded second place this month by the Central Association of College and University Business Officers (CACUBO) Best Practices program.
Northwest earned the award in the category for research, comprehensive and doctoral institutions and received a $750 prize.
“It feels wonderful to have our facilities team recognized for these accomplishments,” Daniel Boyt, Northwest’s energy manager, said. “Efforts from across the department have gone into optimizing our investments, reducing operating costs and improve the condition of our facilities.”
Northwest’s winning proposal, “A Model Energy Program for Higher Education,” described how the University has addressed the issue of rising energy costs while minimizing environmental impacts in the most cost-efficient way.
During the last decade, Northwest and all of Missouri have faced rapidly rising energy costs. According to the Energy Information Administration, commercial rates in the state increased 53 percent between 2004 and 2014, outpacing the national average of 31 percent. Like most universities, the Northwest campus added buildings academic programs to keep up with demand while working to maintain aging infrastructure and mechanical systems.
In 2012, Northwest partnered with its facilities management contractor, Aramark, to implement an energy management program. The program includes a full-time on-site energy manager with a support network, a small annual capital investment from the University and guaranteed annual savings.
Unlike traditional performance contracting, Northwest’s energy management program captures low-cost opportunities that leverage lucrative utility incentives as well as no-cost measures such as scheduling and optimization of existing equipment. The strategy provides an opportunity to optimize investments on an ongoing basis as utility prices or incentive programs change and deficiencies are identified.
By actively managing utility costs through its ongoing energy program and implementing innovative strategies to reduce project costs and maximize benefits, Northwest has realized more than $2 million in savings with capital investments under $500,000.
Additionally, 85 percent of campus heating last year was generated from waste paper, cardboard and wood.
“Northwest has identified organizational viability as one of the University’s strategic goals,” Boyt said. “The costs associated with operating and maintaining physical assets play a key role in that viability and we are happy to be a part of implementing it.”
Northwest’s legacy of using alternative energy sources and sustainability initiatives dates back to 1982 when the University established a biomass energy system using wood chips under then-President Dr. B.D. Owens. After 25 years of operation, Northwest realized about $12.5 million in savings from the use of alternative fuels in comparison to purchasing natural gas and oil, allowing the University to reallocate funding to instructional programs and upgrades.
In the early 1990s, Northwest enhanced its energy program by adding discarded newspaper, corrugated and cardboard boxes, magazines and other clean paper products to its alternative fuel processes with the production of paper pellets.
The CACUBO Best Practices award promotes and recognizes new approaches to problems and challenges facing college and university business operations. The program works to share ideas and new approaches with its membership institutions.
Winners were recognized Oct. 9-11 in San Francisco during CACUBO’s Annual Meeting. The Annual Meeting is a premier higher education event that provides networking, presentations and seminars to share information about the field and professional development topics.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468