UNC Reduces Energy Use by 7 Percent, Saves $253,000

August 15, 2017

During the first year of a campus-wide conservation campaign called powerED, the University of Northern Colorado cut electricity and natural gas use by a combined 7 percent, resulting in $253,000 in cost avoidance.

The ongoing program emphasizes behavioral changes to promote energy efficiency and sustainability. Nearly 600 students and staff have signed on to UNC’s People.Power.Planet campaign to pledge to do their part. Over the last year, they checked off over 1,700 routine actions and 120 key actions they’re doing to save energy and participated in a number of fun events and activities.

In addition, Facilities Management has ensured efficient building operations through tactics such as monitoring energy use and equipment and implementing comprehensive building shutdowns over winter break. Ongoing site assessments and analysis are conducted by McKinstry, UNC’s program partner and technical consultant, to identify energy saving opportunities. The measures included optimizing equipment and system runtime by finding ways to shorten operating schedules or determining how to operate at a lower rate of energy when buildings are unoccupied.

A dashboard, designed to serve as a high-level monthly energy report, provides a snapshot of site-specific energy performance, benchmarks, and overall savings at UNC to inform and engage program participants. It can be viewed here.

Of Note

When students move in to their residence halls this fall, they will be reminded of how to make their room as energy efficient as possible through this list that encourages coordinating with their roommate on energy-intensive appliances such as mini fridges. They will also see tips on how to “green” their room including turning off the lights when they leave, unplugging unused electronics, and keeping their thermostats at 70 (heating) and 74 (cooling) degrees. Housing orientation tents will be giving away free LED bulbs and raffling off remote-controlled smart strips this week.