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Energy Audit to Begin Next Week

Members of the MIT community are advised that as part of an energy audit to begin next week auditors will be visiting all rooms in academic and research buildings to tabulate room lighting and energy-using equipment within each space.

The survey, which will continue through May, is designed to reflect academic needs and to be as unobtrusive to the community as possible. All room visits will be made during normal working hours (8 to 5), and very little time will be required per room-probably less than five minutes.

The auditors will work in teams of two; each will have visible photo identification. They may ask occupants some simple questions on normal numbers of occupants and the normal hours the space is in operation.

"I hope that the community will support this effort with a cooperative attitude, reflecting the importance of the study. We will do our best to keep the community informed on the progress of the work," said Tom Shepherd, associate director of Physical Plant.

The energy survey is one serious consequence of the recently completed audit by the DCAA of MIT's 1990 indirect cost recovery proposal to the federal government. In that audit, the DCAA recommended that the Office of Naval Research disallow the recovery of a substantial amount of the utility costs that MIT has incurred in the operation, campus-wide, of laboratory spaces devoted to sponsored research.

The auditors said that the Institute's claim for these costs was based on an engineering survey that was out of date. That survey, based on a campus-wide audit and inventory of energy-consuming equipment and devices, was made during the summer of 1984. The engineering study format was approved by the DCAA in 1975 and 1985, and the results of the 1984 study have been used by MIT for cost submittals covering each of the years from 1985-90.

MIT is disputing the DCAA recommendation.

Nevertheless, an immediate result of that recommendation is that MIT must redo the energy survey and make an energy audit/inventory in this current year to establish a valid and current claim for future accounting periods.

The audit/inventory is clearly a large data effort-more than 15,000 rooms will be surveyed. Further, the urgency of the audit process requires that the inventory be made immediately.

To meet this need, MIT has retained the engineering services of XENERGY, Inc., of Burlington, Mass. This is the same company that did the 1984 survey. Because of the large scope of the audit work, XENERGY plans to use a number of MIT students familiar with the Institute to supplement their staff in the survey process.

If you have any questions, call Mr. Shepherd at x3-6358.

A version of this article appeared in the April 15, 1992 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 36, Number 27).

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