Workshops and Audits on Energy Efficiency for Local Government and Industy in the Border Region
Project Description: In many instances, the most cost-effective way to reduce emissions in the electricity generation sector is by increasing the efficiency of end-uses.
Through a contract with the Center for Energy and Environmental Resources (CEER) at UT Austin, this project worked with selected local governments and school districts and with selected industries in the border region in 2008 to enable them to increase the energy productivity of their operations.
For local government and school districts, CEER, partnering with the engineering department at UT San Antonio, used an approach similar to that developed by the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO). The project organized two full-day workshops—one in Laredo and one in Brownsville — in February 2009 that offered cities, counties, and school districts guidance on how to assess energy uses and prioritize potential actions, what resources and software are available from the federal government, and what financial assistance is available from the State of Texas, especially through the SECO.
The workshops for local government were very well attended; 32 persons registered at the Laredo workshop and 87 persons registered at the Brownsville workshop.
Subsequently, the UT San Antonio engineering department also offered follow-up consulting assistance to a limited number of interested entities for program implementation and design. For those entities, the lead professor/instructor conducted what is sometimes called a "preliminary energy audit" for the selected facilities and prepared recommendations intended to save energy and money.
In the industrial sector, CEER’s Texas Industries of the Future organized a full-day workshop on the technology of air compression, using U.S. Department of Energy tools, in May, 2009 in Brownsville. Interested companies in the Lower Rio Grande Valley sent 35 people to this workshop.
During the balance of spring and summer 2009, Texas Industries of the Future conducted assessments of seven specific industrial facilities and made recommendations on energy improvements to those companies.