Here is an example of linking and leveraging university assets to provide even greater value to the people of Indiana.
Purdue Technical Assistance Program (TAP) and Purdue Extension are teaming up with a local Indiana community to pilot a new program help local governments cut their energy-related expenses and reduce their energy consumption and environmental footprints. This a program TAP has done with industry for several years. This new partnership with Extension is helping transfer that expertise to the public sector.
In these lean budget days, local officials are looking for opportunities to cut costs and to align local government’s programs and services with the increasing need for environmental sustainability. Energy efficiency is just one piece of sustainability leading to reduced costs, better work environments, and environmental stewardship. The challenge is that these changes must involve everyone (policy makers, management, operations employees, etc.) to be lasting.
In the program, local government staff learns the basics of energy efficiency and green/sustainable practices. University staff works with staff from the city/county to perform opportunity assessments of the municipality’s main buildings. The program finishes with a session at the water treatment facility where operators will learn how to reduce the energy consumption of energy-intensive systems. The opportunities identified are summarized in an action plan that the local community conducts with the university staff staying in touch for a year to collect impact data and help perform benefit analysis.
Here is the program agenda:
Day 1: Energy Efficiency Generalist Workshop– This one-day workshop covers the ABCs of sustainable business practices. Attendees learn by doing. Purdue has created an interactive simulation that involves everyone in the class. Attendees learn the common concepts of sustainability and participate in the discussion of what makes sense or doesn’t for their facilities.
Day 2: How to Incorporate Energy Efficiency into Financial Decision Making –This one-day workshop covers the why and how of incorporating life-cycle costs such as energy consumption and maintenance into a purchasing decisions. Through participating in a simulation and working through real-world case studies, attendees gain the knowledge and skills to start considering energy in financial decisions.
Day 3: Opportunity Assessment–The Purdue team of specialists work with city/county operations personnel to go through the larger buildings and identify opportunities to save energy and reduce environmental footprints. Afterwards, opportunities are quantified and to determine feasibility.
Day 4: Waste Water Treatment Plant Survey & Workshop– as the most energy-intensive operations in the city/county, a full day is at the plant looking at opportunities and performing business case analyses. We’ll start with a short workshop on motor-driven systems efficiency, follow with a discussion on projects other treatment plants have implemented, and then finish with an assessment of the facility and its opportunities.
The Purdue specialists then create a final document report listing all of the activities and participants. The report summarizes the ideas proposed, opportunities identified, solutions justified, and can be used as an action plan for the local community.
This program is currently being piloted in one community as we search for resources to expand statewide. If you are interested in more information about the program, contact me.