Success Story: Southern Oklahoma Technology Center

Mike Graham coordinates many of the programs undertaken at Southern Oklahoma Technology Center and, as an energy manager, one of his most recent was establishing a successful 20x2020 campaign. Mike understood that collaborating with SOTC staff was vital to the program’s success, so he spoke with the superintendent early and frequently to help create a clear plan for the organization. He held an initial program launch in late July, and he focused on meeting with the staff often to, as he put it, “ease them into the program.”

After he introduced the 20x2020 program and explained how it affects their organization, Mike worked on a set of behavioral guidelines for SOTC to follow. The process of reviewing and adopting guidelines helped him and the superintendent decide what course they would like to take to engage the employees. They soon found that a team approach in program implementation was a good way to gain people’s participation. Not only do employees turn off lights and equipment when they leave their areas now, but many employees put up their own stickers on light switches and computer monitors to remind everyone to do their part. According to Mike, this has paid off greatly. As he and the custodial staff do their building walkthroughs, they can see that almost everyone is participating.

Along with implementing the guidelines, Mike wanted to help raise personal awareness about energy use. As recommended by ES2, he issued a Plug Load Inventory to the entire campus. While the response rate was not 100%, he stated that it did open his eyes to how much equipment is plugged in daily and in what buildings. He reviews the data in conjunction with the walkthroughs to aid him in crafting the program and plans to give it a personal touch by visiting with the individuals who disclosed their personal space heaters. He believes this will allow him to have a better sense of what needs to be done comfort-wise and hopes it will increase the dialogue between him and the occupants while decreasing the number of complaints that might come his way. Mike believes most people in his organization realize this is “a common sense program”. This allows him to work with the occupants and guide them throughout the process instead of working against them and losing their support.