BALTIMORE, Md. and CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Jan. 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The University of Virginia, one of the most energy conscious institutions in the United States, was recognized today by Smart Energy Decisions Innovation Award Advisory Panel as the 2019 Innovation Award winner in the category "Higher Education Energy Efficiency Technology" for its Delta Force innovation approach to energy efficiency advances.
Delta Force, headed by Jesse Warren, UVA's Sustainability Program Manager – Buildings & Operations, is an internal performance contracting program that increases energy efficiency and guarantees energy savings. Delta Force identifies UVA projects that represent good opportunities for energy savings, funds those projects, then recovers 125% of the funding out of utility savings.
"We knew that we were doing a good thing. We saw the value it brings in both promoting sustainability and funding other projects that otherwise might not happen. To be recognized and awarded for it is a great surprise and a motivator to continue to make it even better," said Mr. Warren.
Delta Force exerts control over maximizing saving and earning from projects and optimizing energy efficiency projects, all within the strict guidelines of historical preservation. Their efforts have resulted in short ROIs and significant energy cost savings. For example, Delta Force has invested $15.5 million in improvements to existing buildings on UVA's Grounds, and saved $35 million. At UVA's famous Clark Hall, Facilities Management's total investment of $2 million has cut the facility's utility expense from $1.2 million a year to approximately $400,000, for an annual savings of more than $700,000 and an ROI of under three years. Delta Force will recover $1.56 million from its $1.25 million investment.
Outreach and engagement efforts work in tandem with operations, building awareness of Green Lab and Green Workplace programs. They gain buy-in from students and faculty through onsite pledge boards that encourage people to sign a pledge to reduce energy use when they're in the building. This promotes transparency to show students, researchers, and faculty that UVA is committed to reducing energy use and they should be, too. These innovative communication methods have inspired similar outreach efforts on other Virginia campuses.
"Jesse [Warren] has really changed the game when it comes to how approach a large-scale energy initiative," said Leigh Anne Ratliff, Sr. Account Manager for CPower Energy Management. "Over the years we've worked with him and his team to monetize their energy efficiency projects and energy assets through demand response programs in the PJM market. It always makes me proud when we see one of our great CPower customers recognized for their hard work and innovation."
About University of Virginia
The University of Virginia is distinctive among public institutions of higher education. Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, the University continues in its mission to develop tomorrow's leaders who are well prepared to help shape the future of the nation and the world. The University is highly selective, accepting only the best students and those who show the exceptional promise Jefferson envisioned.
The University of Virginia is made up of eleven schools in Charlottesville plus the College at Wise in Southwest Virginia. It has more than 28,000 employees, including approximately 16,000 faculty and staff and 12,000 health system employees.
For 2019, the University was ranked the No. 3 best public university by U.S. News & World Report. In the 20 years since U.S. News began ranking public universities as a separate category, UVA has ranked in the top three and continues to rank in the Top 30 among the best of all national universities, public and private.
About UVA Sustainability
The University of Virginia has cultivated a sustainability culture from the Grounds up, with over 30 sustainability-focused student groups, a robust University Committee on Sustainability structure with dozens of working groups and task forces consisting of students, staff, and faculty, an Office for Sustainability with fourteen full-time staff, and several departments with sustainability intertwined in their mission. UVA's five-year Sustainability Plan, launched in April 2016, identifies 23 goals and over 100 actions that strive for the vitality of our environment, health, and investments, both locally and globally.
CPower is a demand-side energy management solutions provider. We help commercial, industrial, government, healthcare and education organizations in North American open energy markets save on energy costs, earn revenue through energy curtailment, enhance their sustainability efforts, and contribute to a balanced, reliable grid. We create customized energy strategies designed to help our customers achieve success through demand response and demand management programs, including automated curtailment, distributed generation, distributed energy resources, and energy efficiency monetization.