powerED: The Power of People at School of Mines

Building a thriving planet means we all do our part. At the Colorado School of Mines, it’s all about the people.
powerED: The Power of People at School of Mines
powerED: The Power of People at School of Mines

Involved and educated building occupants can move the needle on energy savings and emissions reduction. By implementing effective practices and processes, building owners and operators can shift human behavior to reduce emissions, increase efficiency and recognize cost savings.

McKinstry’s powerED program goes beyond implementing technical and equipment-based energy efficiency improvements in buildings. The program fosters leadership and responsibility around the efficient use of resources. Our experience and client results show that adopting a culture of occupant engagement helps achieve substantial, quantifiable financial results.

Colorado School of Mines (Mines) partnered with McKinstry to implement powerED on campus, and the program surpassed their expectations. By combining best practices for the most efficient use of energy resources in a building with an understanding of social science and the mechanisms of human behavior, Mines has experienced a cultural shift among its student body and faculty.As a result, they have achieved significant savings through the powerED program.

Sam Crispin, Director of Facilities Management at Mines shared “we realized that energy savings was more than just about equipment replacement.” To educate students, faculty and staff on how they could create an impact, Mines launched a campaign to help thousands of people understand how to make small changes to the way they use buildings across campus.

Mike Willey, Facilities Management/Mechanical Division Manager at Mines was surprised by the results “I was skeptical about the social engagement. What I saw was something completely different than I imagined.” One of their programs, Shut the Sash, focused awareness and spurred action for campus labs users to close the fume hoods when not in use. The program saved Mines over $19,000 in its first year as part of Mines’ larger People.Power.Planet campaign.

This progressive approach to changing the culture and habits of Mines’ building occupants to reach energy conservation goals has resulted in impactful decision-making and new habits across campus. Adopted alongside an operational approach, Mines has recognized results that include reduced waste, improved comfort and increased savings.

In every building, there is opportunity to save energy. Through their partnership with McKinstry, Mines was able to measure their efforts across campus to understand how these actions impacted operational efficiency and cost. Engaging building occupants throughout campus allows everyone to play a role in building a thriving planet.