Share “Oklahoma's top higher education official...”

Oklahoma's top higher education official “on board” with new energy cost cutting mandate

Glen Johnson, chancellor of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education, said the newly-created Oklahoma State Facilities Energy Conservation program will give the system a plan to build on past successes to cut its energy bill further.
by Silas Allen Published: May 10, 2012
Advertisement

Oklahoma's top higher education official said he's optimistic about a plan that would require energy cost cutting at state agencies, including public colleges and universities.

Glen Johnson, chancellor of the Oklahoma System of Higher Education, said the Oklahoma State Facilities Energy Conservation program will give the system a plan to build on past successes to further cut its energy bill.

Gov. Mary Fallin created the program Tuesday when she signed Senate Bill 1096 into law. It directs all state agencies and higher education institutions to cut their energy costs by at least 20 percent by the year 2020. The measure, which Fallin estimates could save the state up to $500 million over 10 years, takes effect in August.

Johnson said he'd been discussing the idea of an energy conservation program with Fallin since last fall.

“We have been on board from the beginning with the governor,” he said.

In a Jan. 9 letter to the Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education and presidents of Oklahoma's public colleges and universities, Fallin asked all public colleges and universities statewide to implement energy usage plans similar to one in effect since 2007 at Oklahoma State University.

In the letter, Fallin says higher education “accounts for the largest energy consumption in the state,” meaning colleges and universities have a major role to play in cost-cutting efforts.

OSU officials say the university has saved about $19 million since implementing its plan, developed the plan in partnership with the Dallas-based firm Energy Education. Much of the savings has come from relatively simple changes such as shutting off lights and equipment at night.

Interest is growing

Just a day after the bill was signed into law, interest in energy efficiency in higher education seems to be growing. The University Sustainability Consortium of Central Oklahoma, a fledgling group of sustainability officers at colleges and universities in the Oklahoma City area, held its monthly meeting Wednesday. Attendance was sharply higher than at previous meetings, said Tim Tillman, sustainability coordinator at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Silas Allen
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri.
+ show more


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    OU football: Golden Hat No. 1 in college football rivalry trophy rankings
  2. 2
    Johnny Manziel: Intoxicated fan had toyed with him
  3. 3
    Science Says Dogs Really Do Understand What People Say To Them
  4. 4
    'Shut It Down': Dozens Of Ferguson Protesters Interrupt Black Friday Shopping At Wal-Mart, Target
  5. 5
    Netflix CEO: Broadcast TV Will Be Dead By 2030
+ show more