Success Story: Western Oklahoma State College

Western Oklahoma State College’s mascot is “The Pioneers,” and that mentality is certainly not lost on its employees. Since the inception of their 20x2020 program, an attitude of pushing forward has driven them towards success. When news of the program launch came across Tricia Latham’s desk earlier this year, she made the important decision to keep her executive team both involved and informed. With the support of the president to “Do it right,” she immediately enlisted the help of Doyle Jencks, WOSC’s Director of Physical Plant, and Jimmy Poe, who now has an updated job title of “Safety and Security Coordinator and Energy Manager” to reflect his adjusted responsibilities. Jimmy and the rest of the WOSC team have not only become another organization to enter all historical utility data into EnergyCAP and begin adapting energy conservation guidelines, but they are also one of the first to complete a plug load inventory.

They decided to issue a plug load inventory survey, which documents how many devices are typically plugged in at their campus throughout the day, after receiving an email from ES2’s Director of Energy Solutions, Temur Akhmedov. While expecting some people to possibly ignore or forget about the survey, they were pleasantly surprised to find that over 90% of them were returned fully completed. This survey not only gathered crucial information they could act on, but also created more attention for the program. This effort was further strengthened by an email the president issued stressing the importance of the program to the college.

All three WOSC employees recommend that organizations be transparent and inclusive as they go through the process of implementing the new program. By including the faculty and staff, even with just 15-minute presentations and discussions, they have been able to garner the support of nearly the entire campus. “We don’t intimidate people,” Doyle said, and it seems to have worked. Their interactions with building occupants and the results from the plug load inventory have allowed them to have a clearer direction in crafting their behavioral guidelines, which Jimmy plans to have ready for their stakeholders to review by the end of October.

Their advice for other organizations is to simply include everyone. “You can’t just say 'Here’s our energy person’ and dump it into their lap,” according to Jencks. “Everyone has to find a little bit of time to help with all of the projects that we have.” As Tricia put it, “Everyone realizes that this is a team effort.” It would seem that the other Pioneers agree.