Campus News

Board Approves Contract to Reduce Energy Use

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 1. 2009) – In an ongoing effort to save energy, reduce cost and maintain a more sustainable campus, the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees today approved the initiation of an energy savings performance contract with Ameresco, an energy service company based in Louisville, Ky.

An energy service company (ESCO), such as Ameresco, provides comprehensive energy and water management analysis plans as well as energy and water-related capital improvement services.  Enabled by Kentucky Revised Statute 56.774, energy savings performance contracting is a cost-effective process for energy upgrades. Energy service companies guarantee that utility savings generated by facility upgrades are sufficient to pay back the capital investment over a set period (generally 11 to 12 years). If the project does not provide these returns on the investment, the ESCO is responsible for the difference.

Ameresco was selected after a year-long RFP process which included a trial audit of 10 campus buildings. The scope of the first phase of the project will be $25 million.

Possible energy conservation measures that will reduce the university’s overall energy consumption include:

·         Upgrades to lighting systems to the latest electric saving technology; fume hood controls; HVAC systems; steam and chiller plant controls; and building envelopes

·         Installation of motor speed drives to save energy during mild weather conditions; energy management software to monitor usage in real time; and automatic utility metering devices

·         Replacement of old plumbing fixtures to the latest water saving technology

·         Replacement of old motors with new high efficiency motors

·         Repair of pipe insulation

·         Behavioral modification programs to encourage energy conservation, tailored for campus and developed, implemented and measured to maximize effectiveness and initiate a culture of energy efficiency. Facility Management staff will be trained in measuring and verifying ongoing operational costs and savings.

"The overall goal is to decrease the university's overall energy demands by 10-15 percent," said Bob Wiseman, vice president for facilities management. "Beginning next fall, the campus community will see the effect of this project in everything from changes to lighting to more extensive building retrofits."