Energy Management Report

Campus Energy Management Program

The University of Southern Mississippi, under the leadership of president, Dr. Rodney Bennett, continues to be committed to both the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) signed in 2008 to reduce campus greenhouse gases, and Senate Bill 2821 that was mandated by the Institute of Higher Learning (IHL) to reduce energy usage 30% by the end of fiscal year 2015.  To meet these challenges, the university established a new Energy Management Team (EMT) in 2010, which consists of the superintendent of HVAC, an energy management control specialist, an electrical engineer and an energy consultant.

The EMT developed an Energy Management Program (EMP) that analyzes, reviews, and recommends ways to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gases.  This team monitors energy usage daily and meets monthly to review energy issues.  Also, a quarterly brainstorming session is held to review new technologies.

The EMP focuses on utility services (electric, gas, and water) for the campus community.  On a daily basis, the energy management control specialist reviews chiller and heating plant readings for any alarm status or potential problems.  Each morning, HVAC technicians, under the guidance of the superintendent of HVAC, tours all power plants for proper operation status and then log their findings.  Monthly consumption readings are taken and compared against historical data for month-to-month and year-to-year continuous improvement.  When problems are found, the EMT analyzes them for the quickest and best-case scenario solution.  To keep the campus community informed, Dr. Christopher Crenshaw, Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management & Planning, holds bi-annual meetings with building liaisons to review issues and discuss energy management progress.

Campus Energy Management Program Success

The Southern Miss EMP has had great success the past four years in reducing both energy consumption and energy costs.  Since fiscal year 2009, E&G gas has been reduced by 38.6%, electric reduced by 22.52%, and campus wide MMBTUs reduced by 29%, while campus square footage increased by 4.85%.  These consumption reductions reduced E&G utility costs in fiscal year 2010 through fiscal year 2013 by $8,484,744 of which $6,024,168 was from consumption reductions, and $2,460,576 in price reductions, of which approximately 50% was realized from negotiating new gas rates.  

Below is a partial list of operational actions taken and projects implemented to achieve these savings, as well as year-to-year continuous improvement results:



  •  Adjusted downward the temperature of domestic hot water units and heat units at 78 campus locations.
  • Upgraded and reprogrammed the EMCS systems in 10 buildings.
  • Installed time clocks on air handlers in 18 buildings for night and weekend setbacks.
  • Installed programmable thermostats in 12 buildings.
  • Repaired water leaks in 10 cooling towers and 17 water meters.
  • Reprogrammed boilers and lowered hot water temperature in Polymer Science Building, resulting in a 53.1% drop in MCF usage.
  • Evaluated the needs of Reed Green Coliseum, reprogramming 7 ceiling air-handling units “off” resulting in a 38.4% drop in electrical KWH usage.



  • Verve units installed in Cook Library addition, resulting in a 29.3% drop in KWH usage.
  • Installed VFD drives and replaced steam boilers with clear fire condensate boilers in Bobby Chain Technology Center, resulting in a 74.8% reduction in gas and 19.4% in electric. 
  • Upgrades of power plant and installation of building automated controls (BAC).  Items included in upgrade are valves, VFDs, heat plate exchanger, and set points for both hot and cold water.  Last quarter of fiscal year 2013 showed reduction in both gas and electric.
  • College Hall renovation completed and 100% LED lights installed in fiscal year 2013.
  • Security Lighting upgrade: replaced 250-watt bulbs with 99-watt LED bulbs.


Continuous improvement year-to-year

  • FY09 to FY10  Gas reduced 14.4%, electric reduced  8.2%, water increased 31.1%
  • FY10 to FY11  Gas reduced 13.4%, electric reduced  2.9%, water reduced 33.8%
  • FY11 to FY12  Gas reduced 15.1%, electric reduced 10.3%, water reduced 38.7%
  • FY12 to FY13  Gas reduced   2.5%, electric reduced   2.8%, water reduced 18.29%

       Note:  Spring of fiscal year 2013 was colder than normal and resulted in higher gas usage.


Campus Energy Management Program Challenges

  • Fully implementing and controlling the new BACs and adjustments to daily operations of the upgraded power plants - This process will take a few months to learn the new technology and train HVAC personnel accordingly.   
  • Operations and consumption control at McCarty Chiller Plant with addition of Scianna Hall/College of Business building under construction - We will be able to address this issue once the upgrades are completed and new chiller and condensate boilers are placed in service and BAC software fine-tuned.
  • Continuous year-to-year improvement with changes in HVAC technicians and new construction projects on campus (Scianna Hall/College of Business, Century Park South and a new power plant at Bond Hall.   


Energy Savings Account (ESA)

As evidenced above, the USM EMP has been very successful in reducing E&G Utilities over the past four years.  The Physical Plant Department’s ESA account was credited $60,000 for savings in fiscal year 2013 and currently has a balance of over $400,000 for use in fiscal year 2014.