December 4, 2014

BY STEVE O'KEEFE
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – Giants of industry will be honored on Dec. 11 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City for their work in energy efficiency. 

Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with nine other finalists in the “Commercial End User” category for energy efficiency is John A. Logan College.

Other candidates include: Kroger, Kuwait Petroleum International, Schneider Electric, U-Haul International, and the United States Navy to name a few. Last year’s winner in this category was IBM.

John A. Logan College was nominated for the Platts Global Energy Awards by the energy consulting firm, ENERNOC, and was the only community college in the nation to receive the nomination.

There are more than 200 nominations worldwide for the award each year. Some of the nominations are from Brazil, India, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Russia, Switzerland, Argentina, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, and United Kingdom, as well as the United States.

Former OPEC energy ministers, national regulators, former heads of major energy companies and leading academics and legislators are listed as judges for the award. 

JALC began to put energy management practices at the forefront of its operations in 2013, shortly after its president, Dr. Mike Dreith, took over administrative duties in 2012.

One of his first orders of business was to look at Logan’s master plan to ensure there was a solid approach to energy management.  Dreith charged Brad McCormick, Vice-President for Business Services and College Facilities and Tim Gibson, Coordinator of Sustainability and Building Systems, with developing a new strategy to proactively manage energy spending.

According to McCormick, school officials and the board of trustees recognized the need to address three energy cost drivers: how you buy it, how much you use and when you use it.

Harnessing the expertise and intelligence software technology provided by ENERNOC, the college became fully committed to proactively reducing energy costs. In fact, energy costs at Logan were down 12 percent last year.

The savings is especially impressive given this past year’s winter and the Polar Vortex, which left many businesses reeling.

Dreith said energy-saving practices rank at the top of the school’s priority list. Students and staff are engaged and committed to increasing energy-efficiency initiatives around campus, in addition to partaking in outreach with the surrounding communities.

“I think there is a dual-benefit honor,” Dreith said. “It (nomination for award) demonstrates the college’s efforts to be worthy stewards of state and local tax monies by finding innovative ways to save money while leading in the use of cutting-edge technology. I am particularly proud to be president of the only community college in the nation honored.”