Energy Rebate Checks for College

Santa Monica College Board of Trustees were presented with two energy reduction incentive rebate checks, totaling $217,322, on Tuesday, February 1, from Southern California Edison and The Gas Company, which is operated by Sempra Energy.

The energy reduction rebate checks were awarded to SMC because of a ten-month project in which SMC retrofitted the control system for the 54 fume hoods in the Science Building.

Officials estimate the project will save SMC approximately $1.5 million over the next ten years.

The project cost just over $392,000, but after the incentive rebate checks, the net capital cost is almost $175,000, which is expected to pay for itself in about one and a half years in utility cost savings.

Money made from utility cost savings and energy rebate checks are all an addition to SMC's budget, which is facing some challenges, according to Bruce Smith, SMC Public Information Officer.

SMC is prompted to look at many cost-saving measures due to the projections for deep cuts in the 2011-12 state budget, according to the Board of Trustees February meeting.

Jeff Gehring, manager of SMC's maintenance department, is working with a utilities consultant to find where SMC might qualify for rebates or incentives, since they are very important for increasing SMC's budget and bringing more money for further energy savings projects.

Gehring confirmed that another project is in the works at SMC to save utility costs and make the college a more energy efficient school. "I am leading the charge and the school backs me 100 percent," said Gehring.

The project will be the replacement of five boilers in the science building and four boilers in Drescher Hall with new ones, which are more efficient and will produce lower emissions.

The project is set to begin late this year or the beginning of next year.