September 21, 2015

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California Community Colleges Board of Governors Honors Winners of the 2015 Energy and Sustainability Awards

Seven colleges honored in Sacramento for leading the state in environmental initiatives

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The California Community Colleges Board of Governors today honored Mt. San Antonio College, College of the Sequoias (Visalia Campus), Orange Coast College, and Santiago Canyon College as winners of the annual Excellence in Energy and Sustainability award competition for the implementation of Proposition 39 projects. Santa Ana College, Victor Valley College, and Irvine Valley College have been selected as honorable mentions in the contest. The awards are presented to community colleges that promote energy efficiency and sustainability on their campuses.
This year’s awards highlight colleges that implemented energy projects that excelled in meeting the goals of Proposition 39 which include annual energy cost savings, project cost effectiveness, and job creation. More than 120 community college clean energy projects and initiatives were considered for the awards.

“Our great state is leading the nation in energy efficiency and sustainability efforts in order to protect the environment and build the infrastructure for our future,” said Geoffrey L. Baum, president of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. “The colleges and individual we honored today are transforming the way campuses serve students while working carefully and thoughtfully to protect and preserve our state’s precious resources for future generations. I congratulate these winners and all of the others in our colleges that are making impressive advances in the areas of sustainability and conservation.”

Two colleges were selected as award winners for Best Overall Project, one in the “large” district category and one in the “small” district category – a classification defined by Full-Time Equivalent Students (FTES) enrolled. Three additional awards were given to colleges for excellence in two respective project categories: Best Retrofit Project and Best Commissioning Project. Commissioning projects require identifying and correcting building systems and operations that waste energy. Energy measures that most commonly fall under the retrofit category include upgrades to lighting and HVAC systems.

Additionally, Fred Diamond, director of facilities and construction for the Citrus Community College District, was honored as this year’s Board of Governor’s Sustainability Champion. This award recognizes Diamond’s exemplary leadership in energy and sustainability efforts. He has been a leader in this area for his district, and a mentor and advisor to other districts throughout the community college system. Diamond is actively involved in participating in campus education forums, district outreach, and providing assistance to other districts and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office on energy and sustainability issues.

The award winners and honorable mentions are:

Overall Best Project – Large District Category

Winner: Mt. San Antonio Community College District, Mt. San Antonio College - Central Plant Tie-In - Building 2

Mt. San Antonio College replaced the existing chillers in Building 2 with high efficiency units and integrated the project into the main campus’ central plant, allowing for more efficient production of chilled water for the entire campus. The district also achieved additional efficiencies by installing cost-effective pumps, cooling towers, boilers, and variable-frequency drives (VFDs). The $1.3 million project was funded with $1 million of Proposition
39 funds, Investor Owned Utility Rebates of almost $200,000, and $100,000 of district funds. The district will see
an annual reduction of at least 800,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) and 75 kilowatts (kW) with a subsequent energy bill reduction of nearly $105,000. In addition, this project generated construction jobs in the community, as well as apprentice and job training positions.

Honorable Mention: Rancho Santiago Community College District, Santa Ana College,
   for its campus- wide interior lighting retrofit.

Overall Best Project – Small District Category

Winner: Sequoias Community College District, College of the Sequoias - Exterior Lighting Retrofit

College of the Sequoias engaged Southern California Edison’s technical support through the California Community Colleges/Investor Owned Utilities partnership in Year 1 of Proposition 39 to help scope an exterior lighting retrofit project at the Visalia Campus. As a result of the initial study done by Southern California Edison and $40,000 in utility incentives, the college was able to undertake a $132,000 project to replace the old high- pressure sodium lights at the Visalia campus, and save 157,310 kWh and roughly $20,000 a year on its electric bill. In addition, this project created construction jobs in the community, as well as apprentice and job training positions.

Honorable Mention: Victor Valley Community College District, Victor Valley Community College,
   for its Variable-Frequency Drives on HVAC Units.

Retrofit Project Category

Winner: Coast Community College District, Orange Coast College - Interior Lighting Retrofit

Orange Coast College achieved significant energy savings by retrofitting a vast majority of the campus’ 32W T8 lamps with 25W T8 lamps and new ballasts. The verified energy savings for this project are approximately
628,000 kWh and 135 peak kW, reducing the campus energy bill annually by more than $80,000. This project cost approximately $887,000 to implement and was funded with $150,000 in Southern California Edison energy incentives and more than $722,000 in Proposition 39 funding. The outside funding sources significantly reduced the district’s direct costs to roughly $14,000. In addition, this project created construction jobs in the community, as well as apprentice and job training positions.

Honorable Mention: South Orange Community College District, Irvine Valley College,
   for its Exterior Lighting Retrofit - Phase 1


Commissioning Project Category

Winner: Rancho Santiago Community College District, Santiago Canyon College - Retro-commissioning (RCx) at Science Building

Santiago Canyon College improved the efficiency of its ventilation system in the new science building with a $405,000 project funded in part with $205,000 in Proposition 39 funds and $112,000 of Investor Owned Utility energy incentives. Because of airflow and pressurization issues with the building, its supply fans needed to be operated continuously, well beyond normal building occupancy hours. The retrofit project resulted in significant savings of approximately 383,000 kWh and 20,700 therms per year because the large exhaust fans could be shut down and generally operated in a more efficient manner. In addition, this project created construction jobs in the community, as well as apprentice and job training positions.

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation composed of 72 districts and 113 colleges serving 2.1 million students per year. Community colleges supply workforce training, basic skills education and prepare students for transfer to four-year institutions. The Chancellor’s Office provides leadership, advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. For more information about the community colleges, please visit