Ouachita Baptist University’s environmental stewardship efforts are paying off – literally. Entergy recently presented university officials with an energy rebate check totaling almost $26,000.
Dr. Brett Powell, OBU vice president for administrative services, said the university has “completed several energy efficiency projects in recent months that qualified for a rebate program through Entergy.” He noted that the initiatives are “part of our continuing environmental stewardship efforts to reduce energy consumption.”
John Hardman, OBU’s director of facilities management, said Ouachita officials “signed up a year ago with CLEAResult, a company contracted by Entergy to oversee the statewide project.”
CLEAResult conducted a full tour of proposed campus projects, documenting what was already in place and what materials would be used for energy efficiency efforts. After each phase is completed, they return to tour the project and document its completion.
Hardman said both outdoor and indoor lighting projects have been completed across campus, including new lighting in Sturgis Physical Education Center’s Bill Vining Arena. He noted that more than 300 fixtures have been updated on campus as part of the process, producing an estimated annual energy savings of $19,000 in addition to the Entergy rebate check for $25,998.90.
One of the next major projects will be updating lighting in the Ouachita Commons, replacing 94 fixtures with 56 LED fixtures for a projected annual savings of $4,000. Facilities management workers also will continue updating parking lot security lighting.
Hardman said overall goals are to “try to save as much energy budget as possible with lighting and HVAC upgrades, while providing a safe environment and cutting down on man hours needed to maintain these systems.”
Affirming the work of his staff in helping achieve those goals, Hardman said, “All of these projects were completed by our staff and were completed while also keeping up with other needs, projects and requests on campus. One hundred percent of the budget for these projects was spent on material only.
“I honestly feel that while providing the greatest academic environment available, we also need to teach our campus life lessons and protect our planet so it will be livable for years to come,” he emphasized. “It’s a proven fact that areas of the U.S. that are accustomed to recycling and conservation pass this way of life on to their kids and they in turn to their kids. We have to be good stewards of the resources available to us.”
By Trennis Henderson, OBU Vice President for Communications