Facilities department wins state award for energy conservation

Members of the Facilities Management team pose with their Prudential Productivity Award: (left to right) John Cal, Nick DiCiacco, Jannette Fleming, Ed Brozic and Danny Paán.

By Giselle Heraux

FIU’s Facilities Management department was recognized statewide on June 21 for its energy conservation plan.

The team was awarded the Prudential Productivity Award, presented by Florida Tax Watch. Every year, the organization honors institutions across the state that have implemented projects that improve productivity, value or service to the state of Florida.

“This is certainly a significant award because it acknowledges the achievements and the millions of dollars we’ve saved for the university,” says John Cal, associate vice president of Facilities Management. “The Prudential Productivity Awards … lets us know that the work we are doing is worthwhile.”

The Facilities Management Team put together  a multi-year cost reduction and energy conservation plan that is currently being implemented across all FIU campuses. The plan is succeeding in improving energy efficiency throughout the university. The continuous improvements – such as real-time monitoring for electricity, chilled water automation and campus wide metering– diminish energy consumption by achieving efficiencies during peak-times and reducing waste during off-times.

The savings from this initiative have been huge. Since the project began, there has been an annual savings of more than $1 million and, over nine years, almost $10 million more were saved than the No.2 performer in the State University System. On a larger scale, FIU  averaged $6.5 million more savings than all State University System schools and $9 million more than other R1 rated Carnegie Classification schools.

The extra money saved from this initiative goes right back to FIU.

“Energy performance is part of FIU culture,” Cal says. “The greenest, cleanest and most sustainable energy is the energy we never have to use.”