Pioneer Technology Center reducing energy use

Ponca City Now - September 16, 2015 2:28 pm

Pioneer Technology Center has been seeking ways to reduce energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020.

The mission of the Oklahoma Facilities Energy Conservation Program is to reduce the energy consumed in facilities owned or operated by the State of Oklahoma while maintaining a comfortable, productive building environment. Derived from the strategic objectives in Governor Mary Fallin’s 2011 Oklahoma First Energy Plan, 20 percent by 2020 was established by Senate Bill 1096 in 2012.

Pioneer Tech has been diligently working to accomplish this goal. Through inner campus communication tools causing behavior modifications, building automations and energy efficient lighting, PTC has reduced its energy usage by 28 percent.

The Pioneer Tech building and maintenance department has been improving energy efficiency in several ways. One of them is the automation program for timers and zones with both heating and cooling in the facility.

“I really rely on feedback from employees to manage our heating and air as well as lighted areas,” said Jason Kubik, Assistant Coordinator of Plant and Facilities. “When we need more light, we adjust. If we need less light, that’s even better for less energy consumption.”

The technology center has also purchased new LED lighting with help from Continental Carbon Company that donated $25,000 to Pioneer Tech for the purchase of low energy, high efficiency lighting in the technical and industry training areas at PTC.

The 28 percent decrease in energy usage has also been reached while adding an additional 13,000 square feet to the facility and two new electronic signs.

“We don’t ask people to not use energy, we ask people to reduce the waste of energy. Keeping lights off when you aren’t in the room, turn off computers, printers and any unused devices especially over weekends. These are tips that we communicate to the employees and they have made a huge difference,” said Mike Orr, Plant and Facilities Coordinator.

The clean energy industry is evolving at a rapid pace. Innovation in energy efficiency has also come faster than expected, in some cases with rapidly falling prices. For example, the price of LED lighting has decreased over 85 percent in the last five years, according to a study in Ohio.

“Facilities and Maintenance have done a great job of bringing everyone on-board with this goal. We talk about it constantly; we have reminders in the hallways and we receive emails during holidays and weekends to remind us to turn off our equipment. It’s definitely been a team effort,” remarked Superintendent/CEO Bruce DeMuth.

Pioneer Tech maintenance and facility personnel have been attending energy conservation meetings for over a year. They learn about new techniques, automations, fixtures and products that can be utilized at the tech center.

According to Orr, the current industrial shop lighting project will reduce energy usage by 75 percent. The return on investment will be recouped in less than a year.

Pioneer Tech is also purchasing the lighting locally to support the Kay County economy. So far, with the behavior modifications, new lighting and automations Pioneer Tech has saved around $62,000 in energy savings since 2012.

Founded in 1973, Pioneer Tech assists students and businesses in Kay County as well as parts of Osage and Pawnee Counties.


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