IBM and HowardCenter energy reduction project beats target, saves $23,000
An IBM-sponsored project to help HowardCenter reduce its energy use has exceeded its goal in just one year. IBM and HowardCenter announced a collaborative effort in June 2011 to reduce HowardCenter’s energy use by at least 5 ercent annually. Working with IBM, HowardCenter achieved 7.62 percent in energy savings, cutting the organization’s electricity bill by $23,000 annually.
IBM awarded a $100,000 grant in 2011 to help HowardCenter and Vermont Technical College reduce their energy consumption by at least 5% annually through the use of energy management strategies developed at IBM’s Vermont facility. The grant was made as part of IBM’s 100th anniversary, and was one of only 10 Centennial Grants awarded by IBM to projects around the world, and one of only two in the U.S.
Working with IBM, HowardCenter created the HowardCenter Excellence in Energy Efficiency (HCE3) program. The program involved more than 30 projects to reduce energy usage in HowardCenter’s 59 different buildings, with most providing payback in less than one year. The IBM grant helped fund energy efficiency projects at the HowardCenter and the HCE3 program involved HowardCenter’s 1,000 employees, approximately 100 IBM volunteers and supporting organizations, including the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Service (VMEC), Vermont Gas Systems, the Burlington Electric Department and ReSOURCE.
The savings were achieved through a number of coordinated activities. HowardCenter employees generated energy saving ideas, and a “Green Team” was formed to promote energy saving behaviors and establish goals for reducing electricity and fuel use. A database was created for tracking utility bills and usage in each HowardCenter building. VMEC provided training in “lean” management techniques, which focuses on improving operational efficiency, providing benefits across the organization. A combined team from IBM, HowardCenter, Burlington Electric Department and Vermont Gas conducted building audits. ReSOURCE completed weatherization work on HowardCenter’s residential buildings through a program that provides job skills training for high school dropouts. IBM worked with HowardCenter to identify and obtain more than $33,000 in energy efficiency rebates.
As of the end of June 2012, HowardCenter achieved a 7.62% reduction in its annual electricity use, and more savings are expected.
“We knew the energy management practices we employed at our site could benefit other organizations, and these results were achieved through the hard work of HowardCenter’s employees, and the collaboration of all the partners to drive energy improvements and savings,” said Janette Bombardier, senior location executive for IBM in Vermont. “This project provides a model for energy management that can benefit other Vermont organizations, especially as the state prepares to take advantage of the smart grid.”
“HowardCenter and its employees really stepped up to the energy savings challenge, and the fact that we beat our goal is a testament to the dedication and involvement of our entire team,” said Todd Centybear, HowardCenter executive director. “This effort brings a number of benefits: we become a more “green” organization, we set an example for what others can do, and we save money that can be redirected to our core mission of improving the well-being of individuals and families.”
U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, who attended a celebration of the program’s results at the Howard Center Friday, said: “IBM relied on ideas generated from its staff, best practices, and both large and small energy efficiency methods to reduce the company’s energy consumption by double digit percentage points. During that process, the company that once was known for making personal computers became one of the global leaders in energy conservation efforts. I am proud of the men and women of IBM, especially those here in Vermont, who transferred that knowledge to the Howard Center, saving them money and reducing their carbon footprint.”
About HowardCenter: HowardCenter is a non-profit organization that provides services to children with serious emotional and behavioral challenges, adults who need mental health and substance abuse treatment, and children and adults with developmental disabilities. Last year, HowardCenter served over 15,000 individuals and families at more than 50 agency sites throughout Chittenden County and beyond.
Source: BURLINGTON, VT, August 24, 2012 - IBM. www.ibm.com