Free energy efficiency assessments now available for Colorado, Wyoming businesses
Colorado School of Mines, in partnership with Red Rocks Community College, is now offering free energy system assessments for local manufacturers, with the goal of helping them improve their facilities’ energy efficiency and reduce their carbon emissions.
Funded as part of a $60 million investment by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Rocky Mountain Industrial Assessment Center (RMIAC) supports paid internships for students from Mines and Red Rocks to gain hands-on experience in improving energy efficiency in the building and manufacturing industry. Mines is one of 37 universities nationwide that are administering IACs in various industry sectors, and one of only nine that are doing assessments for commercial buildings.
Small- and medium-sized manufacturers can greatly benefit from the IAC assessments, because their focus is on topics that can greatly reduce operational costs, increase energy efficiency, reduce waste and carbon emissions and increase cyber security, said Paulo Tabares-Velasco, RMIAC assistant director and associate professor of mechanical engineering.
“Companies can see us extension engineering support that would allow them to analyze ideas they have thought, but don’t have time to properly assess. Our Rocky Mountain IAC also allows us to attract and train the next generation of energy engineers. I personally was part of an IAC when I was a graduate student. I now hope to do the same for our students and companies.“
“Colorado and the greater Rocky Mountain region are seeing the impact of higher energy costs and depleted water supplies,” said Tim Ohno, RMIAC director and associate professor of physics. “With support from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and several private and governmental partners, the Rocky Mountain IAC will be at the forefront of training students to make better, more sustainable buildings.”
Because of the DOE funding, the assessments provided by the Rocky Mountain IAC are free, regardless of the size of the facility.
“We provide an ASHRAE Level 2 assessment at no cost to the client,” said Corina Sedillo, RMIAC assistant director. “For a 100,000 square foot building, the minimum value of this type of assessment would be about $5,000, and could go up to $25,000 for more complicated systems. As the square footage increases, so does the value of our assessments.”
The RMIAC has already completed several assessments: one at Mines, one at a commercial building, and one for a local manufacturer. During the assessment, the Mines/Red Rocks team will visit the site, collect energy related information, evaluate various energy systems and create a report with recommendations for specific changes that can be made. That report will outline potential cost savings, as well as a timeline for how long it would take for the client to see a return on investment for any implemented changes. Companies in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, North Dakota and South Dakota are eligible for the free assessments.
More information about the assessments, as well as a request form, can be found at iac.mines.edu.