Energy Savings at UACCM

The University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton has taken several steps to improve energy efficiency throughout its campus. Recently, changes have been made in many areas to reduce costs and utility usage.

ClearResults, an energy consulting company hired by Entergy, provides the school with guidance on energy conservation efforts. They also have incentive funds available to assist educational organizations in becoming more energy efficient. “UACCM is committed to reducing energy usage,” Dr. Linda Birkner, Vice Chancellor for Administration at UACCM, said. “Not only is it the right thing to do, but energy conservation can free up funds normally committed to utilities. These funds can then be put back into our educational programs! With our limited budget, that is important.”

Among the implemented changes at UACCM are occupancy sensors and lights in eight of the older buildings on campus. They expect to put occupancy sensors in the remainder of the buildings on a later date. These sensors replace standard light switches and prevent energy waste by automatically shutting off lights in unoccupied areas. Where these sensors are installed, lights in empty rooms will automatically shut off after 15 minutes. Ballasts and lamps were changed to more efficient equipment, and the number of light bulbs was reduced from four to two in most areas with the same amount of light produced.

Low-flow aerators were installed on all faucets on campus during the fall. The new aerators allow a half gallon of water per minute instead of the normal two gallons per minute. This change results in 75 percent less water usage.

UACCM has implemented a Super Tune Up program in which 90 package air conditioning units were serviced and measured to determine their capacity and efficiency. The program establishes a plan of which units are worth repairing and which should be replaced. Mike Williams, air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration technology instructor at UACCM, has used this opportunity to give his students hands-on experience by working on these units. This action has further increased savings as well.

Plans are in place to install hand dryers in restrooms around campus. This will nix the approximate $9,000 spent annually on paper towels and also adds savings by reducing labor necessary to keep them stocked. This addition will also lessen waste that goes to the landfill. Pole lights throughout campus are also being updated, reducing energy and labor costs as well. Lastly, wall packs on the east side of campus are being updated as their lights burn out, replacing current lights with ones that produce the same amount of light while using much less energy.

Improvements such as these not only help with the school's budget, but they also lessen the impact UACCM is making in the environment through energy consumption. UACCM will continue to implement ways to conserve energy, putting taxpayer dollars to better use by cutting operating costs.


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