Gary Schimmel

Gary  is the Facilities and Maintenance Supervisor for Kelso School District in Washington State. He is a BOC graduate and we asked him a few questions about his experience with the training and how he’s applying the knowledge day to day.

Q: Why (and when) did you take the BOC I & II training/certification? Does your company require it? Encourage it?
A: Gary first heard about the BOC I and II training through WAMOA (Washington Association of Maintenance and Operation Administrators) which advertised information on discounts for NEEC training.  Although the BOC training and certification is not required by the Kelso School District, Gary had positive feedback from other students on the BOC training so he decided to sign up.

Q: What is your work background? Years in the field?
A: Gary has been with the Kelso School District for 17 years and he is the Facilities and Maintenance Supervisor.

Q: Project details?
A: Several projects have been completed.  The main projects include lighting retrofits, controls work – control schedules, confirming when machines are on to verify and reset if necessary, incorporating low flow flushers, installing aerators at sinks.  Adjusted temperature settings and narrowed operating hours started about 6 years ago.

A pool cover was installed over the pool.  When the pool cover is deployed, the HVAC control system reduces the ventilation and pump speeds.

Q: What is the overall square footage of your facility?
A: Gary Schimmel is responsible for 12 campuses of schools and non-school facilities.  Approximately  697,000 sq ft.

Energy savings results

Q: Do you have savings numbers for your project?
A: Energy Service Company (ESCO) did a pre- and post- project audit. Here’s what they found:

Detailed analysis of the conservation measures determined that the measures are operating properly. The guaranteed and verified commodity savings for the reporting year are shown below in Table 1.

 Electricity (kWh/yr.)Electricity (kW/yr.)Natural Gas (therm/yr.)Fuel Oil (gal/yr.)Water (CCF/yr.)
Guaranteed1,092,7502,2129,409(245)4,064
Verified1,214,1662,45710,454(221)4,516

Table 2 below shows the dollar value of the verified avoided energy use at the baseline and reporting rates. It is useful for seeing how the change in utility rates over the course of the project has affected the financial savings.

 Electric ConsumptionElectric DemandNatural GasOilWaterTotal
Verified at 2009 Rates$84,664$16,806$8,990$(827)$32,982$142,615
Verified at 2014 Rates$96,368$18,010$9,311$(758)$52,368$175,298

At the reporting period rates, the net savings is $175,298 per year. In addition to the cost and energy savings, the project has reduced annual emissions by 609 tons of CO2, 716 lbs. of SO2, and 3,917 lbs. of NOx.

[Excerpted from report by AMERESCO]

Q: Were you able to work with your utility company on any rebates? If yes, with whom did you work?
A:Yes, Cowlitz PUD (Rob Salberg) and Cascade Natural Gas.  He did work with Ameresco, an ESCO, to find applicable utility rebates.

Q: How did your BOC training help?  How did the BOC training influence the decision to do the energy efficiency project?
A: Gary was asked to reduce $70,000 from the annual Kelso School District utility budget so he pursued best practices.  Once he learned best practices from the BOC training, he was aware of facility changes that could be made when budget became available.  Initially, he started out with smaller projects and more ideas came to light.  Whenever budget and opportunity is available, he pursues further projects.

Q: Any particular observations about the program or the difference it made in a) your working environment, and b) your professional, c) what changes facility occupants see?
A: The training program provides extensive information.  Training is lengthy and unfortunately, he doesn’t have a large training budget.  He was able to send one other individual with a mechanical and electrical background who came back to work with additional ideas for efficiency and conservation.  He intends to send more to the BOC training when budget is available. Gary noted often cited barriers to training, if the program was not so long and costly he might be able to send more employees.

At first, energy efficiency wasn’t appreciated but he took advantage of the budget crisis to make changes which resulted in a positive difference.  Some occupants didn’t like the changes but significant savings were realized and continuous improvement is pursued.

Q: Any planned energy savings project for the future?  Energy savings estimates for projects – do they seem reasonable?
A: Projects related to operations and changes to behavior have made progress.  Focus on ongoing and future energy savings will be related primarily to changing equipment.  For example, replacement of an old heater with a heat pump is in the works, and plans for the future include changing an electric ventilation system to more efficient and money saving equipment, and upgrading to LED lighting when LED prices go down.