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Energy Efficiency

AASHE had published a case study on Valencia College's Energy Efficient efforts.

Energy Education

Valencia College has embarked on an ambitious program to achieve savings through strategic shut down procedures, with the Operations Manager, Energy Education focused on this task. By March 2013, approximately a year and half after the program was initiated, the college had already passed the $1 million mark in savings through this effort. Savings, compared against a baseline of one year prior to start of the program, continue to grow.

Unoccupied and occupied energy audits, oversight of comfort complaints, adoption of college-wide guidelines for energy efficiency, publicity in The Grove on savings achieved and recognition of "energy heroes," and communication with faculty and staff by a variety of means are aspects of this effort. Review of class schedules and relocation of classes where appropriate allows HVAC energy adjustments and important strategies. This successful program has involved a five-year contract with Cenergistic, an outside firm specializing in behavioral energy savings.


Here are the Energy Education Guidelines adopted by the Valencia College Operations Council in September 2011.

Energy Education Guidelines p.1

Energy Education Guidelines p.2

Some articles in The Grove. See also the archive of Grove articles.

Save Energy and Money

Spring Break 2012 shutdown savings

Avoid the Phantom Load

For information about your on-campus energy use, shutdowns, to make suggestions, or request a presentation, contact Patti Riva, Operations Manager, Energy Education at or 407- 582-5495

Energy Star

Valencia College is a partner in the US EPA's Energy Star program, purchases only Energy Star equipment and promotes the energy efficiency program to our college community. Here are resources:

Energy Star resources



Valencia College owns and operates its buildings for their full life cycles, and one of the most critical aspects is building energy use. An estimated 30% of energy use in a typical commercial building is wasted. There is considerable opportunity for savings through energy efficiency here on campus, as well as in your home.

Through retrofits of existing buildings, energy consumption by all of the Valencia College campuses has been reduced by approximately 1/3 over a 5-year period. Improvements have been primarily to HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) and lighting.

Improvements include new Central Energy Plants, new air handlers and point of use boilers. Staff now has considerable expertise on automation controls and other aspects of Operations and Maintenance for its chiller plants.

Valencia College has completely remodeled old inefficient air-cooled chillers and retrofitted with high-efficiency variable speed, variable flow water-cooled chillers (West Campus, four 500-ton; East Campus two 650-ton; Osceola Campus, three 500-ton). The smaller Winter Park Campus now has two 155-ton 20 SEER air-cooled chillers. Osceola-opens-energy-saving-chiller-plant

Thermal energy storage (ice tanks) were added to the existing air-cooled chiller system at the Criminal Justice Institute to use off-peak energy to store cooling capacity. This leveraged the peak rate structure of CJI's utility (Progress Energy) plus a utility rebate making it cost-effective.

The college has focused on chiller design to be able to run at part-load as well as full-load. All of the new chiller plants are Variable Primary Flow with differential pressure sensors in the furthest buildings to assist in cooling without using more chilled water than necessary.

East Chiller

Building Automation Systems
All campuses of Valencia College are using building automation systems by Automated Logic Controls (ALC) except East and CJI which use Siemens controls and Winter Park which uses Honeywell controls. Valencia College used a building automation system throughout to regulate temperatures. Janitorial closets utilize simple timers. For lighting sensors, Valencia College uses dual technology infrared, ultrasound and motion sensors.

Systems shut down during unoccupied periods include everything but science labs, security lighting, and the mdf (main distribution facility) and server rooms.

Renewable Energy
The different campuses purchase electricity from 4 power companies, each with different rate structures, providing challenges and opportunities. Without the rebates that utilities provide in states that have Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards, utilizing renewable energy has not been pursued extensively due to the expense. However, we do have solar panels on one of our LEED Gold buildings, the UCF-Valencia Joint Use Building on West Campus. This building houses electrical engineering and the teaching of renewable energy technologies.

A 102.48 kW array of 336 solar panels each producing 305 watts provides approxmately 16% of the building's electricity (July 2011-June 2012 data).

Solar panels

For technical information about the college's energy efficiency programs, contact Robert Hickman, Operations Manager, Energy Efficiency, at or 407-582-1768.






The Grove