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Project Title:University of Central Missouri’s Energy Services Performance Contracting Project (ESCO)Institution Name:University of Central Missouri Innovation Category:Resource Management Project Director:Betty Roberts, Vice President for Administration and FinanceContact Information:(660) 543-4113, broberts@ucmo.eduWebsite:http://www.ucmo.edu
Project Description:In spring 2009, the University of Central Missouri embarked on a comprehensive $36.1 million energy savings contract (ESCO), impacting 26 campus buildings. UCM had a $2 million maintenance budget, inadequate to address a growing deferred maintenance backlog. Concurrently, UCM signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment to move toward carbon neutrality. An energy performance contract was implemented enabling the University to mitigate $20 million in deferred maintenance, and to replace building systems with energy efficient upgrades at $16.1 million. The 15-year lease/purchase cost is covered by operational and energy savings, with no net cost to the University. UCM partnered with Trane Corporation on this energy services performance contract; however, there are many vendors that specialize in providing such services.

Without increasing the institutional budget, replace aging building infrastructures with energy efficient systems:  

  • Monitor utility costs, and classroom and office climate conditions
  • Determine the amount of energy saved using Measurement and Verification (M&V) software to identify energy consumed before and after the ESCO project

Reduce the University’s carbon footprint: 

  • Review fuel purchase and utility usage

Improve the learning/working environment: 

  • Monitor classroom/buildings climate conditions
  • Conduct satisfaction surveys

Reduce facilities-related operating expenses: 

  • Personnel costs, new contract costs, employee overtime
  • Assess increases/decreases in the institution’s facilities budget

Project still underway. Measures to date:

  • Maintenance and repair budget reduced by $1.5 million annually
  • Maintenance and operations costs have been reduced by 13% ($848,000) annually achieved through personnel savings, reduction in outside contracting costs, and personnel overtime expenditures
  • Energy performance contract guarantee of an annual utility cost savings of $735,000
Challenges/Problems Encountered:

One challenge was ensuring support of administration, students, faculty, staff, and Board of Governors.  Extensive and transparent communications occurred throughout the project via websites, town hall meetings, construction updates to building managers and university community, and news releases.

Because construction occurred even while classes were in session, a high degree of schedule coordination needed to occur between the university and contractors. Some temporary relocations of classes and offices were necessary, however classes continued uninterrupted.
Older buildings presented unforeseen and hidden conditions, such as unexpected asbestos abatement, outdated building floor plans necessitating unplanned equipment re-designs.

Evaluation Approach:As part of the project initiation, an investment grade audit of buildings was conducted to determine systems eligible for energy savings. After system commissioning by UCM’s ESCO contractor, method and verification modeling processes to ensure delivery of projected energy savings will be done annually.  Satisfaction of building occupants will be measured through surveys, and utility costs will be monitored.
Potential for Replication:The project is quite replicable. UCM continues to consult with various public institutions who want to undertake an energy performance contract and achieve the same level of success. The important steps include: evaluate facilities’ operating costs, identify opportunities for equipment replacement that lend themselves to energy savings, select an energy performance contractor, and identify funding sources.
Additional Resources:www.traneucmesco.com
CEO-to-CEO Contact:Charles Ambrose , Presidentambrose@ucmo.edu
(660) 543-4112
Date Published: Monday, March 28, 2011