Sebesta Blomberg consultants help Luther develop energy conservation program

Oct. 28, 2009

Luther College has hired consultants from Sebesta Blomberg, a worldwide engineering firm, to lend direction to a new initiative at Luther on energy conservation. The college is using a portion of the $45,000 Rocky Mountain Institute grant received this summer to bring the consultants to campus Nov. 3-4.

Sebesta Blomberg is an engineering firm that provides sustainable technical and business solutions that improve operational efficiency, enhance the quality of the work environment and reduce the cost of facility operation.

The company provides numerous services including engineering design, construction support, commissioning, facility support, energy management, environmental services, sustainability services, and central plant and renewable energy services aimed at enhancing facility performance.

The consultants, Judith Purman and Peter Dahl, will hold a series of five stakeholder meetings with students, staff, faculty and administrators to engage the community in discussion on developing the college’s energy conservation program.

The consultants will conduct a series of stakeholder meetings with students, faculty and staff Tuesday, Nov. 3, and tour the campus to investigate sub-metering possibilities. They will report back to the energy conservation team Nov. 4 with their initial recommendations for an energy conservation program at Luther.

Energy conservation programming will be based on input from the stakeholder meetings and survey responses. This creates a unique opportunity for the campus community to shape the future of energy conservation at Luther.

Luther is a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment. The college has reduced its carbon footprint by more than 15 percent in recent years through significant investments in energy efficiency.  

One of the goals in the college’s strategic plan is to cut the college’s carbon footprint in half, ideally by the 2011-12 academic year when Luther celebrates its sesquicentennial. Luther is one of only 12 colleges and universities in the United States that RMI selected to participate in its “Accelerate Campus Climate-Change Initiatives” program.

Luther’s goal is to decrease the carbon footprint through both behavioral and technological changes, focusing on teaching responsible global citizenship and energy conservation.

The RMI program goals are to assist participating campuses in creating plans for whole‐system actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from campus operations; to connect participating campuses with potential funding partners and a network of like‐minded peers; and to develop a publication that other campuses can consult for guidance in the planning and implementation of a successful climate‐change mitigation initiative targeted at campus operations. 

RMI is an independent, entrepreneurial, nonprofit organization based in Snowmass, Colo. It has acquired an international reputation for its work on energy efficiency, its whole-systems approach, and its market-oriented solutions.