Facilities Services Receives Regional Energy Award

Facilities Services at Grand Valley State University was named the recipient of the 2013 Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) Region III Corporate Energy Management Award.

Accepting the award at the World Energy Engineers Congress in Washington D.C. on September 24, 2013 was Tim Thimmesch, Associate Vice President for Facilities Services, and Facilities Engineer Terry Pahl.

Grand Valley State University has developed an energy group (The Energy Committee) who meet several times a year to discuss potential energy projects. The group started with just a couple people ten years ago and now numbers 15 people which is made up of engineers, HVAC controls staff, electricians, maintenance supervisors and staff. The energy projects brought forward are targeted to have less than a four year simple payback. Funding for these energy projects has come from three possible internal sources: Capital Maintenance Funding, Direct Energy Project Funding and from the Energy Department budget. The types of projects completed and programs implemented between 2002 and 2012 at Grand Valley State University have avoided approximately $1.5 million dollars of additional energy costs on an annual basis even with the phenomenal growth of the University. In addition some projects generated savings in a specific year only and the total for those types of projects has reached approximately $0.9 million dollars. And the cost avoidance continues to grow each year.

The types of energy projects completed over the past ten years include the following:

  • Lighting Projects
  • Variable Frequency Drives
  • Steam Traps & Steam Eye
  • Demand Ventilation Control
  • Energy Contests
  • Temperature Setbacks
  • Utility Infrastructure Improvements
  • Boiler Tune-ups
  • Reduced Lab ACH
  • Modification to Heating & Cooling set points
  • AHU Scheduling coordinated with lighting and morning warm-up
  • Upgraded DDC Controls
  • Lighting Scheduling
  • Adjusted mixed air temperature set points
  • Building Renovations (windows & temperature controls)

For additional details on the award: