Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols Commends State Facilities Managers for Learning Valuable Energy Saving Skills at Gwinnett Technical College

LAWRENCEVILLE — This morning, Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols gave an insightful presentation to a group of 20 state facilities managers at Gwinnett Technical College’s Building Operator Certification® program. Commissioner Echols explained the vital role the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) plays to ensure that consumers receive safe, reliable and reasonably priced telecommunications, electric and natural gas services from financially viable and technically competent companies. Echols shared the many services the commission offers, their consumer protection resources, as well as the nuts and bolts of PSC proceedings.

Each year Gwinnett Tech scholarships a group of state facilities managers to participate in the Building Operator Certification® (BOC®) program thanks to the State Facilities Technical Assistance Pilot Program Scholarship (TAPPS). The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) funds TAPPS.

BOC® is intended for those with two or more years of experience in building operation and maintenance, who wish to broaden their knowledge of total building systems. BOC® cross- trains operators in an array of building systems that allows them to better identify and implement energy savings projects that resulting in lower operating costs.

The course is exclusively offered to K-12 building operators to encourage peer-to- peer exchanges. In order to offer the scholarship program, GEFA requires each participant to baseline one school from their district, providing 12 months of utility data pre- and post- training to allow GEFA to track energy savings and request federal funding for future classes.

Having BOC® certified operators translates to improved energy performance in state facilities and preventative maintenance programs that improve building environments and prolong equipment life. This in turn results in significant savings of taxpayer dollars.

Average annual energy savings from the 2012 BOC® K-12 TAPP in Georgia resulted in a reduction of 74,632 kWh and 3,148 therms per year, equivalent to $8,322 savings per school. The savings proved to be ongoing with one system saving over $99,000 in utility costs in the 2012-13 school year. Schools also received over $200,000 in Georgia Power Rebate Checks.

Cher Brister, Director of Green Technologies for Gwinnett Technical College’s Continuing Education Department, says, "Gwinnett Tech has been helping our state facilities personnel save money and energy through this program since 2009 with full support of our state Energy Office(GEFA). We are confident that our BOC® program will help Georgia reach our 15% reduction in energy consumption goal by 2020."

"I am very excited that a select group of Gwinnett Tech students are able to receive a Building Operator Certification as a part of their training," said PSC Commissioner Tim Echols. "BOC® is a nationally-recognized, competency-based training and certification program for facilities managers, building engineers and maintenance technicians to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings. Not only can these students make a good living with this certification, but they will help save their companies thousands of dollars in energy usage."
Gwinnett Technical College offers both Level I and II BOC® programs for both public and private sectors. To learn more about this and other continuing education programs offered at Gwinnett Tech visit or call 770-995-9697.

About Gwinnett Tech: Gwinnett Technical College, one of Georgia's largest technical colleges, is committed to delivering relevant knowledge to meet the workforce training needs of its community. The College offers more than 140 associate degree, diploma and certificate programs and hundreds of seminars, workshops and courses providing specialized training. Gwinnett Tech is Gwinnett County's largest provider of corporate training and also serves residents and businesses in north Fulton County. Gwinnett Technical College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the associate degree. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Gwinnett Technical College. In addition, some college programs hold separate licensure or accreditation status with appropriate agencies. For more information, visit A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.