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Energy-saving project outpaces its goals

by UofL Today last modified Jan 28, 2013 11:35 AM

A long-term project to save energy at UofL is outpacing its original goals, according to a progress report released last week.

Energy-saving project outpaces its goals

UofL replaced old, inefficient boilers under the project. Top: Removal of an old boiler in July 2010. Bottom: The new boiler is installed in September 2010.

Belknap Campus fuel use dropped 48 percent while electricity and water use dropped 27 and 31 percent, respectively, from their annual usage before the project started. When UofL and Siemens Industry, Inc., announced the project in 2009, engineers predicted fuel use on the campus would drop nearly 40 percent and electricity use at least 20 percent annually.

The reported energy savings is from 2011, the first full year after workers installed more efficient lighting; updated heating, cooling and ventilation systems; and found ways to cut water consumption in 71 campus buildings and outdoor areas.

The overall reduction in energy use has trimmed the greenhouse gas emissions emitted on Belknap Campus by an annual 53 million pounds — an amount equal to removing 4,400 cars from the road for a year, Siemens officials said.

The project extends over 13 ½ year and cost $21.7 million. UofL is paying for the improvements with the money it saves in lower energy costs. The university’s agreement with Siemens guarantees the amount of energy that will be saved. Siemens is to make up the difference if the energy-savings goal is not met.

“We’re extremely pleased to see that this project is working the way it’s supposed to,” said Larry Owsley, UofL’s vice president for business affairs. “Our initial investment is paying off both in energy savings and dollar savings.”

Belknap Campus was the first to institute energy-savings measures in partnership with Siemens. The Health Sciences Center and Shelby Campus were added as a second phase. Engineers are still measuring results of the improvements made on those campuses.

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