Green Energy at Flagler College

By Jessie R. Box |

Victor Cheney holding the LED lights for the gym

The Flagler College Maintenence Department is saving energy by changing the air conditioners and installing LED lights in the school.

“Prudent management of resources is a key operating principle at Flagler,” says President Abare. “We are continuously looking for ways to improve operations, reduce expenses, and operate more efficiently.”

Five years ago, Flagler College needed to update the air conditioner to an oilless compressor for Kenan Hall, the Dining Hall and the Molly Wiley Art Building.

“We were looking for something to replace the old system but we wanted to take it a step further and be a lot more reliable and more efficient so that’s why we did it,” said Victor Cheney, Plant Supervisor at Flagler College.

The new system has been successful. It already saved Flagler College $75,000 last year. Encouraged by the results, the unit for the library and student center was changed to the oiless compressor as well, saving the college $85,000 last year.

“Energy savings are an obvious way for the College to reduce expenses and to engage in sustainability initiatives which benefit the wider community, as well as the college community,” President Abare said.

According to Cheney, Florida Power and Lights discounted Flagler’s kilowatt hour usage 20 to 25 percent when they realized that Flagler College was saving energy.

“We are not only experiencing savings in electricity, they’re discounting as well because we are pulling less demand from them,” Cheney said.

The new light bulb for campus globes.

Flagler College is also trying to save energy by using LED lights. The lights in the globes around campus are four watts instead of traditional 36 watt light bulbs. LED lights are also used at the basketball court.

There are plans to have LED lights all around campus, but it is currently on hold.

“To actually do a retrofit in a main building, the return on the investment is not quite there yet over what we currently have which is florescent tubes,” said Cheney.

When Flagler College is able to place LED lights around campus, it will do more than save the school on the electricity bill.

“Since we are a commercial facility, we are required to recycle them and that cost us money and with LED lights, you don’t have to recycle them,” Cheney said.

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