TCC Sees Significant Savings With Five-Year Energy Plan

September 13, 2016
At a time when every dollar counts, Tulsa Community College has achieved significant cost savings with energy efficiency and sustainability practices. TCC recently completed a five-year project with Johnson Controls, Inc. that lowered TCC’s operation costs and saved utility costs.

In FY16, TCC reduced utility costs per square foot from $1.53 to $1.39 with a savings of $238,614 from the year before despite the opening of two new sites with the Riverside Community Campus & Aviation Center at the Jenks Riverside Airport and Tulsa Fire Safety Training Center at Northeast Campus. In FY16, TCC’s EUI (Energy Use Intensity - KBtu/sf) changed from 109 in FY15 to 97.6 in FY16 with the College/University national average EUI of 130.7.

TCC has taken a comprehensive and strategic approach to reduce operation and energy costs with solutions ranging from switching out light fixtures to minimizing cleaning chemicals. The multi-year plan started with a review of TCC’s facilities and equipment and created a timeline to replace and update equipment resulting in maintenance costs savings as well as decreased operation and energy costs.

The cost avoidance is how much more TCC would have spent on energy costs as well operation and maintenance costs without completing the project. TCC exceeded JCI’s calculations of $4.1 million cost avoidance and achieved a $6.3 million cost avoidance since November 2011.

In addition, TCC was awarded the “Best Higher Education Project 2015” from Public Service Company of Oklahoma for work related to LED lighting upgrades at the Northeast Campus Parking Lot and the West Campus Liberal Arts building. This was part of TCC’s effort to replace 20,000 light fixtures across four campuses. The multi-year project with JCI produced additional results:

  • Saw more than a 20% reduction in energy usage in April and May 2016 saving roughly $15,000 in electric bills from same time frame in 2015
  • Saw a 13% difference in utilities bills which saved nearly $500,000 in 2015 despite the increase in utility rates and expansion of square footage since 2009
  • Saw nearly a 50% reduction in what TCC paid for gas in 2015 as compared to what TCC paid in 2009

TCC has now completed phase 1 and phase 2 with JCI and continues to see operational and costs savings for the roughly 1.7 million square feet of space in TCC’s four main campuses and three community campuses.