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University Rolls Out Efforts to Save Energy and Reduce Costs

February 2009
In response to ongoing financial volatility, the University recently announced steps to streamline spending and reduce energy costs.

Considering the University's annual energy costs are around $36 million, reducing energy consumption is a prime focus of the ongoing effort. In what promises to produce significant energy savings, the University has issued a new policy on temperature guidelines, reducing winter settings in occupied areas to 68 degrees and summer settings to 78 degrees. University Facilities and Services has begun implementing the new guidelines.

“The University has been an Energy Star partner for more than 10 years,” says Richard Pifer, associate vice president of facilities services. “We feel a real sense of duty to model responsible operational stewardship, motivated by our continuing commitments to both cost containment and the environment. We’re continually seeking more efficient ways to heat, cool, and light our buildings.”

After weeks of effort, numerous temperature setbacks for nights, weekends, and holidays have been put in place, including tighter schedules within public spaces such as classrooms and auditoriums. With more than 10,000 thermostats on the River Campus and at the Medical Center, University Facilities is tackling the daunting task of ensuring that each one is adjusted. Areas with automated digital controls have been set to the revised temperature settings. Technicians are continuing to go through each space that has a pneumatic (non-digital) control and make manual adjustments.

This effort will take a more significant amount of time, but the resulting energy savings and environmental benefits will be substantial. Learn more about ways you can help the University conserve and save.