Oklahoma City University will implement a new energy management plan this spring aimed at making the university one of the most energy-efficient schools in the nation.
OCU has partnered with THG Energy in Tulsa to create effective energy management programs, lower usage during peak demand hours and educate students and employees about methods for conserving energy at work and home.
Though OCU is a private university, the plan addresses Gov. Mary Fallin’s energy efficiency law requiring public higher education institutions and state agencies to improve efficiency and conservation measures 20 percent by 2020.
OCU Director of Facilities Jeff Castleberry notes that OCU already has cut average monthly energy use by 8 percent since 2010. He expects efficiency to improve another 5 percent in the next year and 20 percent before 2020.
“As a leader in private, liberal arts education, Oklahoma City University continues to implement innovative ways to nurture our students in a campus community that is both caring and creative,” said OCU President Robert Henry. “Thanks to proactive efforts by our facilities department, we are already on the cutting edge of energy saving innovations for private colleges and universities. Through our new energy management plan, we will continue to reduce consumption.”
Ten percent of OCU faculty and staff will work together across campus on “Green Teams” to improve energy efficiency in classrooms, offices and dorms. The university will work with students as well, and pursue Energy Star labels for new and existing buildings.
Energy saving measures at OCU have included the installation of high efficiency lighting and photosensors to keep lights off when spaces are not in use. Planned measures include software installation to reduce energy usage on campus computers and upgrading ice storage equipment with a system that will nearly eliminate the use of electricity for cooling during peak hours throughout the summer.