School's out for the summer! With college campuses emptying for the next few months, there is more time for staff to focus on other important aspects of the school, like saving money and energy. In fact, college and university campuses are among the most energy-intensive property types in the world and the summer break is a good time for facility managers to consider starting an energy efficiency project.
Peter Fairbanks, President of Fairbanks Energy joins with the company’s Chief Operating Officer, Ross Fairbanks to share their insights on this topic in articles published with Facility Executive, the Boston Business Journal, and The Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges' newsletter, “The Independent Voice.” See below.
Higher Education and LED Retrofits
Ross Fairbanks, COO of Fairbanks Energy, dicusses how LED lighting retrofits make a significant impact on energy intensity, usage, and efficiency in facilities at colleges and universities in a piece published with Facility Executive. "While energy use in Higher Education institutions is among the highest in the world, the good news is that there are cost-effective solutions such as LED lighting with controls that are available. From large-scale campus retrofits to targeting smaller locations where energy is being wasted, college and university campuses can seize the opportunity to install LEDs with controls and realize immediate energy reduction and financial gains."
As colleges seek endowment returns, energy investments could be best bet
Peter Fairbanks, President of Fairbanks Energy, authors a piece published in Boston Business Journal on investing in efficiency improvements at college and university campuses. "In the last 3 - 4 years there has been a significant movement to invest in green improvements on the university campus, primarily to promote sustainability. Sustainability and efficiency improvements are good policies for many reasons: wise use of limited resources, reduction of pollution, work towards going carbon neutral, etc. In the narrow focus of making the best endowment investment, the most compelling reason for investing in efficiency improvements on the college campus is that they produce both the safest and the highest financial return of any investment that could be made."
The Missed Investment: How College and University Endowment Funds Can Achieve the Highest and Safest Return
Peter Fairbanks contributes an article on utilizing university endowment funds for energy efficiency projects published in The Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges' newsletter, "The Independent Voice". "College and university endowments are managed by financial professionals who generally invest in a portfolio of equity and bond investment vehicles that will produce a 5-6% return (in a good year).
Nothing is guaranteed, as the recession crisis of 2008 demonstrated, with endowments typically losing 25-30% of value. Unbeknownst to many educational institutions however, an endowment investment is available that provides much higher returns – 15-25% – and that is virtually 100% risk free: an investment in energy efficiency improvement of campus systems, particularly upgrading lighting to LED."