Jeremy Scharfenberg joined Columbia Association (CA) recently as its new Energy Manager after serving as an environmental consultant for more than a decade. He previously focused on energy, climate change and sustainability initiatives and provided advisory support to federal agencies, state and local governments, electrical utilities and companies in the private sector. He comes to CA with an educational background in environmental engineering, environmental policy and life sciences. Below Scharfenberg details how he plans to help CA with its energy management and sustainability initiatives.
What do you plan to do for CA as its energy manager?
As energy manager, I will be supporting energy and sustainability initiatives throughout CA’s operations. I will be optimizing how CA obtains its energy, how energy is used in our facilities and vehicles, and developing and implementing projects that save energy, reduce long term operating costs, and help CA be a leader in environmental sustainability.
Why do you think it’s important for CA to be concerned with its energy usage?
Energy is important for many reasons. Heating, cooling and illuminating our buildings and operating our vehicle fleet takes a significant amount of energy and the costs associated with that energy impacts our operating budget. In addition, the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with fossil fuel consumption and other detrimental impacts of resource extraction result in a broad environmental footprint when energy is consumed. Nationwide, commercial and residential buildings account for nearly 40 percent of all GHG emissions.”
How will having an energy manager help CA and the Columbia community?
My goals are to reduce CA’s operating costs and our impact on the natural environment. In addition to implementing an aggressive energy management program, I will be supporting other green initiatives associated with procurement, waste management and broader sustainability issues. I also want to enhance how CA promotes our energy and green accomplishments and develop new ways to educate the community on these issues to broaden the benefits.”
What are some projects/things you plan to accomplish as energy manager?
“My initial projects include refining and formalizing CA’s energy and GHG emission baselines, consolidating our utility data management processes, conducting facility audits and energy efficiency upgrades at priority facilities, and supporting broad sustainability initiatives across CA.
CA has already been making good progress on energy and green initiatives and I’m looking forward to contributing to the effort to take CA even further down the path of sustainable operations.”