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Going Green to Save Green: UCC Recognized for Energy Efficiency

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The College has raised more than $200,000 in energy credit through its strategic energy management practices.

ROSEBURG, Oregon – For the third year in a row, Umpqua Community College (UCC) has been recognized as a top energy leader in the State. The College was recently acknowledged for its strategic energy management practices and commitment to improving energy efficiency by Energy Trust of Oregon. As part of the Energy Trust’s Southern Oregon cohort, UCC has even created policy that supports a sustainable approach to green energy.

“We are continuously looking at ways we can save money for the campus and reduce our carbon footprint,” Jess Miller, UCC’s Director of Facilities and Security, said.

Since 2014, campus infrastructure upgrades have been quietly taking place to better serve the campus and community as a whole. This includes conducting energy behavior through motion-sensing lighting, retrofitting the lighting in decades-old buildings to be more efficient, and implementing automation systems to increase overall building efficiency.

A UCC team of eight has been charged with planning the work, and their efforts are literally paying off. The College has raised more than $200,000 in energy credit.

Most remodels start with new LED lighting. Other upgrades have included automated variable frequency drives and upgraded cooling and heating systems shared between Community and Workforce Training and Tapʰòytʰaʼ Hall.

Another priority has been bench-marking energy usage each month. This is done to monitor not only energy expenses, but to also make note of what factors might be creating spikes in energy usage and determining what can be done better to conserve usage.

Looking ahead, the next large-scale campus upgrade will be to the Athletic Complex’s automation system. The Complex presents a unique need both due to the size of the building as well as the large air systems that the building operates on. The current system only operates in an on/off fashion, which creates energy spikes. The new system will runs on a variable frequency drive—controlling air movement as needed in an efficient manner. It’s estimated to raise another $35,000 in energy credit. The plan is to standardize this automation throughout the campus through these upgrades.

“We’re working on trying to get all the way around the campus,” Miller said. “As we get a little further along, we’re going to start looking at water management.”

About Umpqua Community College

Nestled in the beautiful North Umpqua River Valley, Umpqua Community College is the regional center for higher education in Douglas County, Oregon. UCC provides high quality college degree programs, workforce development, and community learning opportunities.

Contact

Jess Miller - Contact
Director of Facilities and Security
Phone: 541-440-4698

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