We are excited to highlight this year’s BOC Building Operator of the Year: Matthew Wardell! Matthew is a Building Maintenance Supervisor for the City of Kentwood, Michigan.
The Building Operator of the Year is chosen by the Smart Buildings Center (SBC) and the national Building Operator Certification (BOC) program, which collect nominations from across the country of people working to improve the energy efficiency of their work environment using skills they learned in the BOC program. The selection committee then votes based on the level of impact of nominees’ energy efficiency project(s) and accomplishment(s), as well as how they have made a difference in their own company and work environment.
Matthew Wardell received a Training Certificate of Completion (TCOC) from an online BOC Level I training hosted by the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) in 2021. He was referred to BOC through his employer, the City of Kentwood, which had previously sent two other employees who both found the course to be valuable. In fact, the city now lists BOC training as a potential opportunity for further training and professional development for operations team members in its job descriptions. Matthew will encourage his own employees to enroll in future BOC trainings and noted that the classes were “All 100% applicable to my job.” Matthew remarked that he especially enjoyed learning more about Indoor Environmental Quality and Measuring and Benchmarking Energy Performance through his BOC course.
Since completing the BOC training, Matthew has taken on more responsibilities at work, including looking for new project opportunities and ways to improve operations. He has been able to apply the skills he learned from BOC in many ways. In particular, he has used ENERGY STAR™ Portfolio Manager to monitor trending data in BMS operations, and applied the new technologies and projects introduced in the BOC curriculum to utilize different payback formulas and calculations for different loads.
BOC also helped Matthew gather the expert knowledge needed to lead efforts for the Consumers Energy Building Tune Up Program in four different buildings owned by the City of Kentwood. As a result, he achieved a reduction of 586,592 kWh annually across the four buildings, and $46,927 in annual electrical bill savings. This amount of energy savings was equivalent to 21% of the buildings’ total energy use. At City Hall, the ENERGY STAR™ score increased by 114%, and the Energy Use Intensity (EUI) decreased by 23.5%. More recently, Matthew worked on a two-tier energy project that pushed through lighting and lighting control upgrades, HVAC upgrades and replacing rooftop packages, which led to replacing boilers as well.
In addition to providing outstanding students like Matthew with the tools and knowledge to excel in their careers, BOC educates on the growing importance of energy efficiency in building operations. Matthew views energy efficiency as important to his field for multiple reasons: in addition to saving money and improving equipment and system resilience, it has larger environmental benefits of sustainability and helping reduce a building’s carbon footprint.
Consumers Energy, a sponsor of BOC in Michigan, shared this quote in response to hearing that Matt, a fellow Michigander, had received the 2022 BOC Building Operator of the Year Award:
“Congratulations to Matt for his exemplary work for the City of Kentwood. We appreciate your energy efficient efforts. Getting building operators excited about energy efficiency and the positive impacts is vital for a cleaner future for Michigan. Matt’s impressive contribution to energy efficiency exemplifies why we are proud to sponsor Consumers Energy business customers to participate in BOC training at no cost.”
Since 2010, Consumers Energy has issued a partial tuition reimbursement to more than 375 BOC graduates to increase their skillset and enhance their work environment.
We are inspired by the outstanding work that Matthew has done in his career, utilizing the skills and knowledge he gained from the BOC training. We look forward to continuing to offer BOC trainings throughout the Midwest region to building operators aspiring to improve the energy efficiency of their building systems and advance their careers.