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IBM and Vermont Tech energy reduction partnership produces powerful savings

Monday, February 11, 2013
January 28, 2013 — An innovative IBM program to reduce electricity consumption at Vermont Technical College has exceeded its goals, lowering electricity usage by 6.6 percent over the past year and resulting in savings of $40,000. The goals of the program were to reduce electricity by 5 percent and save the College $31,000 over the course of one year. More than 30 efficiency projects were involved in the program as well as the development of an energy sustainability database that tracks ideas from generation to completion and the associated costs and savings. It is expected that the database will become a model for educational institutions nationwide.
“With the help of IBM, we have realized amazing reductions in a very short time frame,” said Jay Paterson, Executive Director of Strategic College Operations at Vermont Tech, who noted that the program was awarded the 2012 Most Valuable Pollution Prevention Award by the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable.
The year-long project was part of IBM’s Celebration of Service in recognition of the company’s 100th anniversary. IBM Vermont invested more than 900 people hours to bring the necessary technical and managerial skills to this project, providing sustainable practice education and training. Savings came from improvements to lighting, sensors, appliances, computers, HVAC, thermostat controls and more. IBM also provided 550 advanced power strips to studentsIn addition to Vermont Tech, IBM partnered with the HowardCenter, the largest health and human services organization in Vermont. IBM volunteers worked with the two organizations to help community members understand and establish procedures for managing the use, cost and conservation of energy at their facilities. Assistance was also provided by the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center, Efficiency
Vermont, Green Mountain Power and Central Vermont Public Service.
“By working with HowardCenter and Vermont Tech, we demonstrated how smart grid data and information can be used at the enterprise level to achieve energy efficiency and peak load reduction,” said Janette Bombardier, Senior Location Executive for IBM in Vermont. “This project helped the organizations improve their energy efficiency and financial performance, and created a world class benchmark for energy management and a more sustainable energy future for Vermont.”
A celebration of the partnership’s success was held on January 17 at Vermont Tech. The program continues in 2013 with the goal of an additional 5 percent energy reduction.
About Vermont Technical College – Vermont Technical College is the only public institution of higher learning in Vermont whose mission is applied education. One of the five Vermont State Colleges, Vermont Tech serves students from throughout Vermont, New England, and beyond at its two residential campuses in Williston and Randolph Center, regional campuses in Brattleboro and Bennington and at six other nursing campuses located throughout the state. Our academic programs encompass a wide range of engineering technology, agricultural, health, and business fields that are vital to producing the knowledge workers need most by employers in the state and in the region.