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Energy efficiency efforts at Spokane's community colleges pay off

Courtesy of Benjamin Benschneider/Community Colleges of Spokane
Buildings like this on the SFCC campus are receiving more efficient lighting fixtures.

The colleges' trustees recently adopted a sustainability policy.

Community Colleges of Spokane officials are on a mission. They’re trying to make their campuses more energy efficient and the work is paying off.

Andrew Lemberg from the colleges’ resource conservation office says he has several projects on his energy efficiency drawing board.

“We’re working on LED retrofits, water savings, HVAC scheduling. We’re trying to drive down our costs and our utilization of these resources," he said in a report to Governor Jay Inslee during the governor’s visit to campus last week.

Lemberg says the colleges’ board of trustees recently adopted a sustainability policy that supports his efforts.

“Right now we’re looking at funding for an SFCC smart water irrigation system, which we think, our project savings would be 18 million gallons a year in irrigation," he said.

He says he’s also considering whether to install an array of solar panels on one of the campuses.

Last month, Community Colleges of Spokane awarded a $2 million contract to a Kansas company to make energy efficiency improvements to their Colville campus.

Lemberg said the district’s energy efficiency programs have helped the colleges reduce their electricity usage by 30% during the last five years.

One of the Northwest's most seasoned reporters is returning to his SPR roots. Doug Nadvornick will be heard frequently on KPBX and KSFC reporting on local news.