Ferrum College Boosts Its Green Initiatives by Hiring New Energy Manager

New position is made possible by a recent Jessie Ball duPont Fund grant.

Christian Bedard, Energy Manager

Ferrum, VA (Dec. 4, 2013) – Christian Bedard, former energy manager for Roanoke County Schools, has been named Ferrum College’s first energy manager, a newly created position partially funded by a recent grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund to support energy conservation projects on campus.

As energy manager, Bedard will coordinate, centralize and streamline all aspects of the College’s sustainability efforts, as well as make recommendations regarding such energy conserving initiatives as lighting retrofits, heating and air conditioning updates, water system updates, electrical service updates, and energy-related sustainability efforts.

Bedard brings extensive experience and training in energy conservation and management to his new position. In his previous role in the Roanoke County school system he increased energy savings from 26% to 38% in four years, for a total savings of $4.3 million for the system, and in 2010 was awarded the Chairman’s Sustainability Award from Energy Education, Inc.

“We are extremely grateful to the Jessie Ball duPont Fund for helping Ferrum College in our ‘green’ efforts. When duPont awarded this grant to Ferrum for our campus-wide sustainability programs it was a clear validation of our ongoing work in this regard.  With the hiring of our energy manager, our strong commitment to all aspects of energy conservation will be even more effective in producing tangible results,” said Ferrum President Jennifer Braaten. She is particularly proud of the example the College is setting for students. “When our students see how committed we are as an institution to helping secure the future for our planet, they are inspired to do what they can to make a difference, such as using the recycling bins around campus and turning off lights and computers when they’re not in use,” said Braaten. 

As an institution with one of the oldest environmental science programs in the nation, protecting the environment has long been a priority for Ferrum. Most recently, in 2007, Ferrum became a charter member of the “American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment” an organization of college and university presidents across the nation dedicated to working together to mitigate the effects of climate change. A number of recommendations from a subsequent energy audit were then put in place by the College, the initial phase of which was also funded by duPont. The work of the new energy manager will allow the College to continue to realize even more efficiency and cost savings in implementing additional energy conservation projects.

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About Ferrum College: Ferrum College is a four-year, private, co-educational, liberal arts college related to the United Methodist Church. Ferrum offers a choice of nationally recognized bachelor's degree programs, at a cost well below the national average for private colleges. The College celebrates its centennial in 2013.