BOC grad Luke Hutchins is Director of Buildings & Grounds at Parker Ridge Retirement Community in Blue Hill, Maine. Parker Ridge’s facility, first established in the early nineties, has approximately 65,000 sq. ft. of apartments at its main inn and 24 cottages averaging 1,700 sq. ft. each located on twenty-plus beautifully landscaped acres. Hutchins completed the BOC course in Fairfield, Maine this past fall. For him, the BOC training “gave me the confidence and ability to come back to my facility and start making decisions based on energy savings and moving ahead with technology.”
Having thirteen years experience in the residential management field, Hutchins observed, “Anyone who works in the facilities industry knows time is not on your side, so being able to complete all the projects I want to will never happen, but we’re taking it one step at a time.” The first project was a small one, a simple exit light retrofit/replacement from the existing CFL design to the new LED lights. Efficiency Maine was giving rebates of $10.00 per fixture and Hutchins purchased the required fifty fixtures for $13.50 each. With the utility incentive, the total purchase was $675.00, less $500.00 rebate, so that a $175.00 investment, giving an energy saving of about $600.00 per year had a payback of less than three and a half months. Hutchins easily installed all the lighting himself in a matter of a couple weeks as time permitted.
Several other projects are on the horizon, including a lighting retrofit in the main kitchen, boiler room and activity rooms where all the lighting is outdated and inefficient. But the biggest project about which Hutchins is most excited an automation system in the boiler room. His calculations indicate that it could save at least $25,000 per year at a cost of about $65,000 to implement – a 2.5 year payback without even factoring in the effects of greatly reduced maintenance costs as well as alarm set points that alert facilities personnel to problems before they get complaints. Hutchins is hopeful that the project will be budgeted for this year. Since the automation system consulting company with which he is working has received custom utility incentives for this type of project in the past, he believes payback could be even sooner.
Hutchins discovered many advantages to the BOC training. “The content that the BOC course included was great, covering all aspects of facility maintenance and energy savings, but a major part of the course for me was making friends and contacts with people from other facilities in Maine. I have touched base with many of them, asking questions about policies or operations, and have been able to make good decisions based on the many more years of experience that they have in the industry. Without the BOC course I would be in the dark on everything that is good about a changing industry.”