Energy Efficiency Program

Western Washington University Makes Over Energy Program


CLIENT: Scott Dorough, Campus Energy Manager of Western Washington University

GEOGRAPHY: Bellingham, Washington

VITALS: Approx. 15,000 students

CHALLENGES: The department formerly relied on Excel spreadsheets that didn’t provide the datatracking opportunities they needed, and were also time and effort-consuming.

RESULTS: They’re now able to easily and quickly input information and pull reports that keep their energy efficiency program a success.

Using Dude Solutions Energy Management at Western Washington University was an easy choice for Scott Dorough. Entering his position as Campus Energy Manager three years ago, he already had experience with previous versions of the software in former roles. Seeing success with that software, he knew that using Excel spreadsheets to keep track of their energy management efforts needed an upgrade. Inputting information into various spreadsheets was costing the department time otherwise needed to focus on energy efficiency projects.

“The goal was to save time. There were better solutions than to continue using a myriad of spreadsheets. We needed a database application. Our objective was to move from spreadsheets to database technology,” Scott says. Since he had already had experience with Dude Solutions, training the team was smooth, with the department relying solely on the energy solution.

Dude Solutions has contributed to running the campus’s aggressive energy management program. Scott says, “We have a revolving energy fund that supports our conservation activities, and with Dude Solutions Energy Management, I’m able to quickly generate reports that show the effectiveness of executed projects. Also, I can generate budgets in a matter of minutes with the solution that would take far longer using the previous approach.”

Not only does the solution benefit budget reporting, Scott and his team are also tracking a variety of data as part of their energy program, mainly electricity, natural gas, steam, refuse, domestic water, irrigation, waste water and storm water. The ability to easily pull reports on that data has been important to the department. Scott estimates that upward of 200 to 300 hours per year is saved with Dude Solutions Energy Management’s standard and custom report features.

Having the database has also had an impact on morale. “It’s exciting folks, particularly in our Office of Sustainability, that information is readily available and no special request has to be made to generate the desired information,” Scott says. “As Western’s administrator for Dude Solutions Energy Management, it’s saving me lots of time.”

That time is going to good use, with Scott adding, “Previously, much time was consumed in spreadsheet data entry, extraction, reporting and budgeting. Using Dude Solutions Energy Management, far more time is now available for project scoping, development, management and marketing to the university.”

When asked why he’d recommend Dude Solutions Energy Management to another campus, his answer summed up the case for the solution perfectly: “To migrate from spreadsheet to database technology, to have instant dashboard capabilities, to use as a budgeting tool and as a measurement and verification tool.” With their conservation successes, Western Washington University is paving the way for other campuses to utilize smart software to improve their programs and make a measurable difference in energy management across college campuses in the future.