Strategic Energy Management pays off for City of Talent


City of Talent’s energy team has been empowered with skills, tools and guidance for energy reduction through SEM participation.

City of Talent’s energy team has been empowered with skills, tools and guidance for energy reduction through SEM participation.

About a year ago, the City of Talent enrolled in Energy Trust of Oregon’s Strategic Energy Management (SEM) offering, which helps organizations identify no- or low-cost energy-saving opportunities. Hoping to stop energy costs from taking an increasing bite out of its budget, the city set a goal to cut annual building energy use by 5 percent.

“We not only met our goal, we expect to repeat that in 2019 by participating in another round of SEM,” said Sandra Spelliscy, manager at City of Talent.

SEM brings together a cohort of area organizations that meet regularly for workshops led by Energy Trust technical experts. Participants acquire skills, receive tools, share information and have regular check-ins with their SEM coaches.

As part of SEM, the City of Talent established an energy team that includes a representative from each city building. The city also learned how to implement a building opportunity assessment—a treasure hunt that looks for energy waste. City personnel came away with a list of action items and how to achieve them—everything from taking steps to make sure lights aren’t on unnecessarily to reprogramming thermostats according to building occupancy.

“One of the biggest benefits of SEM is that we have a much better understanding of where and how we’re using the most energy,” said Spelliscy. “Things were going on in our buildings that we had no idea about.”

Read more about other Southern Oregon SEM cohort participants. Businesses, nonprofits and government organizations can learn more about energy management and how to find hidden savings. Call 1.866.605.1676 or email energymanagement@energytrust.org for more details.