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Arizona Edition: AWC employee recognized as national expert by Department of Energy

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YUMA - In 2020 the Department of Energy partnered with the International District Energy Association to analyze and catalog how organizations across the country were managing their energy use across three metrics – operations, engineering, and finance.

The facilities at Arizona Western College in Yuma ranked high across all three metrics, landing the college's facilities director, Steve Eckert, on a list of nine national industry experts.

The summary report highlights the technical management of the Yuma campus’ massive, chilled water cooling system, once an energy drain that, with upgrades under Eckert's leadership, saved the college 2.5 million kwh in electricity use, while at the same time expanding the systems’ capacity and efficiency.

The report also notes AWC's solar project for its contribution to the college’s energy needs and saving $4 million in utility costs since installation in 2011.

AWC's Turn Off the Lights program, a commitment to preventive maintenance, and a willingness to work with partners were also cited as industry best practices.

Eckert has been with AWC since 2011. He gave our Chris McDaniel a look at the massive and complicated AWC cooling system before sitting down in our studios to talk about receiving national recognition from the Department of Energy and its partner organization, IDEA.

NOTE: Arizona Western College is KAWC’s license holder.

Lou grew up in Tucson and has a long family history in the state of Arizona. He began his public radio career in 1988 at KNAU in Flagstaff as a classical music DJ and has been hooked on public radio since, transitioning to news after trying his hand at several other careers in publishing and commercial broadcasting. Lou has a degree in American Studies from Arizona State University and was KAWC's Morning Edition host for two and half years before becoming News and Operations Director.
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