Oregon Department of Corrections: Four 50001 Ready Facilities
The Oregon Department of Corrections is committed to energy efficiency as a sustainable means to lower emissions, set a good example, and reduce the cost of doing business. The Department has worked with the Energy Trust of Oregon’s strategic energy management (SEM) program for the last five years, developing strong energy goals and policy, encouraging employees to find new ways to save energy, and prioritizing investments that decrease energy demand. The Department uses EPA’s Portfolio Manager to track energy consumption and set performance benchmarks. Its facilities work toward specific energy reductions targets and make monthly reports on their progress in helping achieve the Department’s overall goal of reducing energy use by 20% by 2023. The facilities also report their energy usage to the Oregon Department of Energy.
The Oregon Department of Corrections is the first agency of its type to earn 50001 Ready recognition from the U.S. Department of Energy. The four facilities that earned the designation include more than 24 buildings designed for varied functions, such as administration, inmate housing, textile manufacturing, warehousing, refrigeration, food preparation, education, recreation, religious services, laundry, and medical assistance.
“Like other correctional facilities, we operate much like a small city; despite the wide variety of functions, 50001 Ready helps us improve our energy management and accelerate progress toward our energy goals.”
Oregon Dept. of Corrections
The Oregon Department of Corrections exceeded its initial 50001 Ready goal by getting four facilities to achieve 50001 Ready status in one year; the Department is now eager to have all 15 of its facilities adopt the U.S. Department of Energy’s 50001 Ready Navigator online software tool and progress towards 50001 Ready recognition. Given the diverse functions and multiple sites, the 50001 Ready Navigator’s multi-site features are particularly helpful to the Oregon Department of Corrections. For example, the Sustainability Programs Manager uses the Dashboard feature to readily view overall progress and any site-specific energy management activities affecting energy usage. This knowledge helps to enrich the monthly reports and meeting discussions while reinforcing and further motivating each facility.
The guidance provided by the 50001 Ready Navigator encouraged a closer analysis of the equipment to spot further energy savings opportunities. In some cases, the answer was to map timelines for more efficient equipment usage and institute automated scheduling (e.g., to turn off HVAC equipment during periods when buildings are not in regular use).
Implementing a 50001 Ready Energy Management System
- The Department was pleased to learn it could leverage its use of EPA’s Portfolio Manager for 50001 Ready [Note: The 50001 Ready Energy Report for Portfolio Manager can be downloaded directly to your account; ENERGY STAR Energy Performance Indicator reports may also be submitted].
- Engaging multiple sites allows the facilities to share experiences, learn from each other, and lend expertise for training.
- Work with Energy Trust of Oregon accelerated attainment of 50001 Ready status (by six months) because much of the groundwork was already in place (e.g., policy, goals, tracking and reporting procedures, energy teams, and management support).
- Engaging both Department staff and adults in custody helps spot more opportunities for energy savings: (1) Reporting energy efficiency levels monthly in the post orders helps security staff understand the importance of conserving energy. (2) Adults in custody serve as extra eyes and ears and are often the first to hear and report something unusual with the equipment (e.g., rooftop air handlers clanking at night). (3) Some adults in custody, such as clerks with access to the maintenance management software, help implement and document energy management procedures (e.g., run analyses and pull data from the system for use in reports or in equipment and controls checklists).
“The Oregon Department of Corrections has successfully applied their learnings from Strategic Energy Management within their organization to the more formalized goal for 50001 Ready.”
Energy Trust of Oregon
The four facilities were recognized by DOE between September and December 2018:
- Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution, Pendleton, OR: September 2018
- Central Distribution Center, Salem, OR: November 2018
- Warner Creek Correctional Facility, Lakeview, OR: November 2018
- Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, Wilsonville, OR: December 2018
Modeling good stewardship of energy and water resources sets a good example for other state institutions and opens opportunities to get adults in custody interested in learning useful skills valued by the broader community.
Aggressive energy management goals helped the Oregon Department of Corrections gain recognition as a trendsetter and positive role model for other prisons. The recognition highlights the system’s sustainability policy and practices.More