ECO Energy

University scores high marks on efficiency

The new boilers require far less maintenance and operate with greater efficiency, saving the university thousands of dollars in utility costs annually. The Washington State University (WSU), Vancouver, campus is located on 350 acres about 15 miles north of Portland. Centralized chillers circulate cooling water to all 12 campus buildings over a total of 500,000 square feet, but the campus has no centralized boilers. Instead, individual boilers operate in each building. After more than 25 years of operation, the original boilers and other mechanical systems reached the end of their useful life. “They needed consistent maintenance to keep running,” said P...

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ECO Energy

Efficiency is the second largest energy resource in Oregon

While Oregon is on a path to a cleaner, low carbon future, there are still plenty of opportunities for more energy efficiency, according to the 2020 Biennial Energy Report released this month from Oregon Department of Energy. The report, which comes out every two years, helps inform local, state and regional policy development, energy planning and investment. Among this year’s findings: Energy efficiency is the second largest resource in Oregon after hydropower from large dams on the Columbia River and its tributaries, and efforts to increase energy efficiency have succeeded in reducing overall energy consumption. From 2000 to 2015, the amount of energ...

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ECO Energy

Catching the energy efficiency wave in Newport

The Oregon Coast Aquarium has substantial energy needs across its 23-acre campus. Energy Trust incentives are helping make upgrades more affordable. The Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport has thousands of daily visitors, permanent displays and rotating exhibits of native marine mammals and fish, animal feedings and encounters, dining, and more. “It’s a great place to work,” said Bryan Urbach, director of facilities, Oregon Coast Aquarium. “Our team is passionate about the animals and providing visitors with the very best experience. When we open in the summer, the line is from the front door to the parking lot, rain or shine.” Outdoor exhibits feature ma...

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ECO Energy

Hillsboro library prioritizes energy efficiency

The City of Hillsboro manages over one million square feet of building space, including the Hillsboro Brookwood Library, where a high-efficiency water heater was recently installed. The City of Hillsboro Facilities Department manages roughly one million square feet of real estate, including fire and police stations, libraries, a large civic center and recreation complex, public works facilities, and more. David Cobos, an HVAC technician who has worked for the city more than five years, helps maintain those buildings. “We go wherever the work is,” he says. “The HVAC team not only replaces or repairs standard heating and cooling equipment, but also servi...

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