In its first three years, EDF Climate Corps has identified a total of $439 million in energy savings and 557,000 metric tons of annual greenhouse gas reductions in top companies. Just as impressive, companies report that projects representing 86 percent of the energy savings identified by EDF Climate Corps fellows are complete or underway.
The program began in 2008 with seven fellows and grew to include 26 fellows in 2009 and 51 fellows in 2010. In 2011, 57 fellows are working with leading companies to identify ways to reduce energy usage and costs in buildings around the country.
As any energy manager knows, it’s one thing to find energy-saving projects that are worth doing and quite another to get them implemented. Check out the highlights below from companies that are already implementing projects recommended to them by Climate Corps fellows and realizing the benefits of energy efficiency.
- AT&T will install occupancy sensors in its 250 largest central offices over the next two years. Jen Snook, an MBA student at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, made the case that installing occupancy sensors—shutting off the lights in an empty room—could yield an 80 percent savings in lighting system energy use over 100 million square feet of space.
- Diversey is using a set of tools to measure energy use recommended by Adam Ostaszewski, an MBA student from the Olin School of Business at Babson College. Adam contributed to the development of a tool that analyzes costs and energy efficiency opportunities across the company’s global building portfolio. He also created a tool to track savings from avoided travel. Diversey estimates $6 million in annual savings from avoided travel that can be invested in other energy projects.
- SunGard found quick savings by changing the lighting timers in its New York City office. The no-cost project, which yielded a savings of $20,000 annually, is one of five initiatives the company is implementing thanks to the work of Rich Tesler, an MBA who completed his fellowship while pursuing a second master’s degree at New York University’s Steinhardt School Culture, Education and Human Development.
Highlights from 2010
Verizon - Ryan Mallett
Ryan Mallett spent his summer dialing up energy savings at Verizon. During one of the hottest summers on record, Mallett evaluated the installation of a thermal ice storage system at Verizon’s headquarters in lower Manhattan. The investments Mallet recommended could save the company a total of $9.16 million over the project lifetimes, while avoiding over 8,700 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually.
HCA Healthcare - Nick Fassler
Nick Fassler evaluated hospital energy efficiency projects for HCA Inc in Nashville, Tennessee. Fassler found ways to reduce energy use from lighting by up to 30%, which if rolled out across HCA’s hospitals could save the company $7.8 million in annual electricity costs and cut 52,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year.
eBay - Megan Rast
At eBay's San Jose headquarters this summer, Megan Rast evaluated opportunities to save energy by installing power management software, lighting retrofits, and replacing older computers. The projects she recommended could save more than $1.5 million over their lifetimes, and avoid over 4,800 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually.
Highlights from 2009
Giant Food Stores - Chris Anderson
Chris Anderson spent his summer steeped in the grocery retail world as a Climate Corps fellow at Giant Food Stores, headquartered in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
During one facility tour, Anderson found himself looking at freezer doors, wondering why some had heaters while others had more energy efficient anti-fog film. By probing beyond the initial answer, he uncovered an anti-fog product that could be retrofitted on existing doors which, if implemented at 2/3 of stores, could reduce CO2 emissions by 26,000 metric tons per year and end the inefficient practice of heating up freezer doors.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. - Neelam Bhatia
Neelam Bhatia spent her summer as a Climate Corps fellow in Austin, TX at Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), an innovative technology company. Bhatia evaluated energy efficiency opportunities such as lighting retrofits, energy management software and thermal energy storage at the company's Lone Star Campus building and data center.
As part of her fellowship, Bhatia examined AMD's use of energy during peak and off-peak hours and calculated that AMD could capitalize on lower off-peak energy rates to potentially save thousands of dollars every year. She also discovered rebate opportunities from Austin Energy that could reduce the upfront costs and payback periods of AMD's energy efficiency investments.
In total, Bhatia identified opportunities that could save AMD up to $1.3 million over the life of the projects. In addition the opportunities could save up to 3.5 million kWh of electricity annually.
SunGard - Ryan Whisnant
Ryan Whisnant, a joint MBA/MS student at the University of Michigan, spent the summer as a Climate Corps fellow at SunGard, an IT services company headquartered outside Philadelphia.
Although SunGard had implemented a fair number of energy efficiency measures at its headquarters before Whisnant started his Climate Corps fellowship, his diligent attention uncovered lighting timer errors that resulted in 1/3 of the open floor lighting remaining on during non-business hours. According to Whisnant, fixing this problem in just one building could save SunGard nearly $20,000 annually.
Whisnant also developed a plan to cut energy use in the company's headquarters by 25%, through lighting retrofits and HVAC upgrades. If implemented across the company's 7 million square feet of office space worldwide, the plan could cut SunGard's energy bills by over $5 million annually.
Highlights from 2008
Intuit - John Joseph
At Intuit, Climate Corps fellow John Joseph identified a wide range of energy saving opportunities—from upgrading the air conditioning and heating systems to installing controls so that lights in bathrooms and lounges turn off automatically when not in use. These projects could save the company more than half a million dollars per year in energy costs.
Cisco Systems - Emily Reyna
At networking technology giant Cisco Systems, Climate Corps fellow Emily Reyna helped develop plans for a new energy-saving device for equipment in R&D labs that would save an estimated $8 million per year (with an 18-month payback) and reduce Cisco's greenhouse gas emissions by 3%.