Johnson Controls improving Henry Ford College’s energy efficiency

DEARBORN–Henry Ford College announced a $3.1 million federal appropriation secured by U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) that will help the Dearborn school improve its energy efficency with help from a grant from Johnson Controls International plc.

The new system, replacing a 60-year-old network, is expected to boost energy efficiency 60 percent and cut water use by 40 percent, resulting in a net 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

With an Integrated Energy Master Plan as the cornerstone of the campus transformation, HFC will reach its net zero targets while providing students with an educational experience. The Living Learning Classroom experience will support emerging career pathways and foster innovators who will create a more sustainable energy future.

The immediate energy transformation includes the following upgrades at the 75-acre main campus:

* Heating System: A lower-temperature district energy network, which replaces the 60-year-old inefficient high-temperature system
* Air Handling Upgrades: Extensive improvements to air handling equipment for better control, comfort and air quality
* Controls and Metering: A campus-wide system upgrade to allow real-time optimization of the College’s energy performance, as well as addressing occupant comfort
* Lighting: Upgraded to LED lighting campus-wide
* Solar Photovoltaic Arrays: Generating clean power from the sun
* Water Conservation: Upgraded water fixtures, toilets and zero-water landscaping

The IEMP is leading the industry forward in its transition to a more comprehensive response for energy-related curriculum, through which students will learn in real time by observing and interacting with the college’s own systems. The “living learning classroom” will open new career pathways for students interested in entering a rapidly growing field. HFC’s programs offer a one-year major for technicians, a two-year major for project managers and a path to a bachelor’s degree in energy production. Graduates will enter the workforce prepared for careers that will provide family-sustaining wages and foster financial equity.

The creation and expansion of HFC’s Energy Technology Program is supported by the Johnson Controls Community College Partnership Program, a philanthropic initiative aimed at investing some $15 million in community colleges across North America. In total nearly $3 million has been committed to colleges throughout North America, of which $190,000 has been donated to HFC since 2021 to support more than 50 students interested in energy-related careers. The funding also supports scholarships and builds connections with Detroit-based high schools to encourage interest among prospective students.

Johnson Controls will give priority consideration for employment to graduates of the program as the company continues its drive to bring new and diverse talent to a vital industry shaping the future of our communities and the planet.

To date, the Johnson Controls Community College Partnership Program has awarded $2.9 million in grants to 20 community colleges throughout North America, supporting more than 1,750 students through scholarships, toolkits, curriculum support, Johnson Controls employee mentors and more. To learn more about the program, visit

Henry Ford College offers its 12,000 students more than 150 associate degree, career, certificate, and university transfer programs. It also offers a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Studies, as well as 3+1 programs with university partners. More at

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