DOBSON — Surry Community College was recently recognized by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Environmental Assistance and Customer Service Division for the college’s energy saving efforts.
As a part of the DEQ’s Utility Savings Initiative (USI), created to assist North Carolina governmental units in managing the use and cost of energy, water, and other utilities in their facilities, SCC has notably reduced its facilities’ energy use and costs.
According to the college’s most recent annual report, Surry has reduced the average energy use per gross square foot of building space by 14 percent from the state mandated baseline, subsequently avoiding paying $157,000 for utilities. In comparison to Surry’s 2010-2011 fiscal year, when energy consumption per square foot peaked at the college, energy usage is down by 26 percent, and SCC has saved an estimated $575,000 over the five-year period since.
These remarkable energy savings are a result of the efforts of many including the actions of Surry’s Facilities Management staff to consolidate building use where appropriate, implement night and weekend setbacks for temperatures during unoccupied periods, and other operations and maintenance improvements. Additionally, the funding provided by Surry County for energy efficiency improvements for five years beginning in 2013 to upgrade lighting, controls, and heating and cooling equipment has majorly impacted overall energy usage and related financial costs.
In a letter to SCC’s President Dr. David Shockley, the DEQ’s Director of Environmental Assistance and Customer Service Theodore L. Bush Jr. said, “We applaud the continued efforts of Surry Community College with the support of Surry County to lead by example in being excellent stewards of tax dollars in managing their energy use and costs.”