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RCC Partners with Ecosystem and O&R to Complete Energy Upgrade $558,000 Annual Savings Guaranteed

Announcement Event, Check Presentation and Tour


DATE: THURSDAY, MARCH 5th
TIME: 9:30am arrival, 10:00am Remarks, 11:00am Tour
LOCATION: RCC CAMPUS –Technology Center, Ellipse (Room 8180), 145 College Road, Suffern


ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. (February 27, 2020) – Rockland Community College has recently completed its energy-efficiency, retrofit project, which started in 2017. As a result, RCC’s energy expenditures will be reduced by 44 percent, with a guaranteed savings of $558,000 each year. Including the $1.1 million rebate from the Orange & Rockland Utilities Commercial & Industrial Program, the payback on RCC’s $8.4 million investment will occur in just 13 years.

RCC partnered with Ecosystem, an integrated engineering and construction company, to redesign the campus heating and electrical systems–going beyond simple retrofits. Nine buildings–totaling about 629,000 square feet on the RCC campus–were retrofitted with LED lighting and integrated energy management systems.

Ecosystem and RCC rethought how they should source their heating, cooling, and electricity by redesigning the utility plant rather than simply replacing the equipment with an exact match.

  • Three oversized boilers were replaced with boilers half their size, which have successfully heated the campus over the past two winters.
  • Fossil-fuel fired absorption chillers were replaced with a new electric chiller, reducing both greenhouse gases and maintenance costs.
  • A Combined Heat & Power (CHP) system was installed to offset both the boilers’ natural gas input and the impact of the new electric chillers on O&R’s electric grid serving the Rockland community.


Ecosystem estimates the new equipment and system modifications will result in eliminating the discharge of more than 1,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere annually: equivalent to the emissions from almost 400 cars, or more than 100 households. The new integrated system is also easier to operate.

“The RCC-Ecosystem-O&R partnership is an important aspect of the campus community’s commitment to environmental sustainability, and dramatically reduces our environmental footprint,” says RCC President, Dr. Michael A. Baston. "These partnerships represent the positive outcome that can be achieved for our community when public and private entities collaborate.”

In addition to achieving energy savings and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, the project has been serving as a live learning opportunity for students at the College. “Students at RCC are gaining 21st-century skills when they take our Sustainability and Green Building classes,” says Katherine Copp Brown, instructor of Green Building Technology at RCC. “They will be in a great place to drive the transition from fossil fuels to clean and renewable energy. The RCC Energy Efficiency project is an excellent demonstration of the new technologies that will lead us to a more sustainable world.”

About Rockland Community College

Rockland Community College, State University of New York, offers a safe, supportive learning environment for thousands of students from diverse backgrounds. Small classes, taught by experienced faculty, help ensure student success. Many graduates transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Thanks to the school’s affordable tuition, students who start out at RCC before transferring can save as much as $100,000 on their education. RCC alumni have achieved success in a wide range of fields including law, medicine, business, the arts and education.

About Ecosystem

Ecosystem is an award-winning, integrated engineering and construction firm that has retrofitted more than 1,500 buildings in North America. The company’s projects have generated more than $472 million in cumulative savings and helped avoid 630,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Ecosystem’s buildings are more energy efficient, less expensive to operate and are better for the environment.

About O&R

Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. (O&R) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies. O&R is a regulated utility that provides electric service to approximately 300,000 customers in Southeastern New York State and Northern New Jersey. O&R also provides natural gas service to approximately 130,000 customers in New York. To learn more about O&R energy efficiency programs, visit www.oru.com/en/save-money/rebates-incentives-credits.

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