Like a lot of budget-minded energy users, higher education institutions like the idea of paying no up-front energy efficiency measure costs.
These institutions are an important energy efficiency market — in the US they spend about $14 billion annually on energy costs, according to the DOE.
One energy efficiency provider, BuildingIQ, charges no up-front fees, but instead charges an ongoing service fee that results in clients paying less for energy than they would have without the service. The company is finding this is attractive to higher education institutions — and has added a number of colleges and universities to its client list, including UCLA, California State University in Long Beach, University of South Florida and University of Miami. In this podcast interview (see player above), Scott McCormick, vice president of sales and business development for BuildingIQ, describes trends in higher education efficiency needs.
The institutions have different tenants and building types, and want their tenants to be comfortable, he says. Many are also interested in reducing their carbon footprints and deploying new technologies such as distributed energy resources, including solar and storage.
“There’s lots of emphasis on reducing their carbon footprint…and doing good things for the environment,” he says in this interview. “I don’t think there’s one main driver. Some do it for sustainability, some do it as cost reduction. The efficiency saves money and improves assets.”
What’s more, about a third of the higher education clients he works with do research into sustainability issues such as smart cities, he says.
BuildingIQ also works with campuses to help them participate in demand response programs. “For instance, the University of South Florida has collaborated with its local utility, Duke Energy, to set up an energy efficiency and demand response pilot. This will allow the USF team to create cost savings and reduce the campus’ energy consumption when the power grid is stressed by using BuildingIQ’s platform to automatically participate in DR events initiated by the utility,” says a company press release.
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