Green Mountain Power Corp,Using an innovative approach, Green Mountain Power has been able to cut electricity costs by 16.5 percent at its Colchester facility over the past year and a half — saving energy and ultimately saving customers money. GMP worked with Shelburne-based Kilawatt Technologies on the project.According to Rebecca Towne, Administration Manager, most of the savings resulted from fine-tuning and synchronizing the building’s existing heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. No new capital investment was required.”When we started working with Kilawatt Technologies, we already had extremely efficient heating and cooling equipment in place. However, electricity use — especially in the Information Technology data room — continued to increase,” said Towne. “Kilawatt Technologies helped us make better use of the building automation system that regulates temperature and airflow, and identified other opportunities for significant energy savings.””Reducing power use in our IT room is crucial as we have continually increasing IT needs,” Towne said. “It’s one way we can promote Green IT concepts, and use our equipment as efficiently as possible.”Some examples of the changes implemented included using long term data trending to develop sophisticated control algorithms that take advantage of the building’s energy momentum to simply relocating thermostats in the IT room away from the hot exhaust at the back of the servers. The company also increased use of a fan that pulls in outside air to help keep the equipment cool.Changes have also been made in GMP’s 1,320 square foot control room. “We haven’t run the compressors that operate the heating and cooling system in over two months,” said Pete Sheil, Building Services Worker. “We’re keeping the space at a comfortable temperature just by using fans to mix cold outside air with the heat produced by the computers and the staff. An additional benefit of this new approach is that we’re continually bringing more fresh air into the building, which contributes to employee comfort, alertness and productivity, especially in closed areas such as conference rooms.”Gregory Johnson, VP of Business Development at Kilawatt Technologies, said, “Including their reduction in natural gas use, our data driven energy management program has helped Green Mountain Power reduce overall energy consumption by 20.5 percent at its Colchester headquarters. We applaud Green Mountain Power’s leadership in achieving these significant energy and greenhouse gas emissions reductions and saving its customers money. We’re starting to work with Green Mountain Power at its Montpelier facility and expect to see even more significant reductions. We encourage other Vermont companies to undertake similar efforts.”Electricity savings in Colchester to date have exceeded 140,000 kilowatt hours or enough to power 19 average size Vermont homes for a year. “This is part of Green Mountain Power’s on-going commitment to energy conservation,” said Towne. “It’s an approach that saves money for our customers and benefits the environment.”
By Rosemarie Leja, UPF GermanyUPF Giessen held its first International Cafe of 2017 on 26 March 26, 2017. This event had a very personal touch; a family from Syria introduced themselves. The father, Hassan Mescho who had been a lawyer in his homeland, set off in 2013 on an adventurous and arduous journey.After travelling through the Balkans, he finally reached Germany where he applied for refugee status. Eventually he was joined by his wife and four children. The whole family attended courses in German language and integration. Mr. Mescho is now employed as a taxi driver and his son will soon start studying at the Technical University. The whole family is very grateful to be here and expressed this in the following words:‘We have never experienced such friendliness and helpfulness as we have here in Germany. We have experienced much that we did not have, or never knew, in our own country. For this, I wish, also in the name of my family, to express my gratitude. We all have the goal of becoming quickly integrated into this free and beautiful culture.’It was clear that the report stimulated great interest and sympathy from the audience, who had many questions to ask. Lively discussion continued over coffee and cake.The energetic young Syrians in the audience then offered to practice dances from their country with all who wished. This was great fun and brought a very lively touch. This afternoon showed concretely how successful integration can be of enormous benefit to all.