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Energy savings initiatives helped WKU reduce summer usage, utility costs

During a summer that saw more students taking more classes, more building space being occupied and the most 105-degree days since the 1930s, WKU used energy savings initiatives to reduce its electrical consumption and cut its utility bills.

WKU’s electrical usage was 16.35 million kilowatt hours from June through August – 1.29 percent lower than last summer’s 16.57 million kilowatt hours, and resulted in savings of $37,399 compared to 2011.

The usage rate of 3.25 kWh per square foot was 1.81 percent lower than 2011’s 3.31 kWh per square foot, an impressive accomplishment considering that total building square footage increased from 5,002,879 in 2011 to 5,028,879 in 2012.

Dale Dyer, plant operations manager for WKU Facilities Management, attributes the reductions to improvements made through an Energy Savings Performance Contract, to changes in WKU’s summer office hours and to individual efforts by faculty, staff and students to conserve energy.

“Since 2008, WKU has been focused on becoming a more energy efficient campus and we have reduced our energy usage by 11 percent,” Dyer said. “In addition, we’ve reinvested our utility savings into more projects that make us more efficient, save kilowatt hours and reduce our carbon footprint.”

Those projects include the installation of two high efficiency natural gas boilers at the Central Heating Plant and 255 additional occupancy sensors installed in nine buildings.

To learn more about WKU’s energy saving initiatives, visit http://www.wku.edu/sustainability.

Contact: Dale Dyer, (270) 745-6179.

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