Eastern Michigan University's spate of energy conservation projects over the last four years has resulted in a $5 million reduction in energy expenditures – a 42% cost savings – over that timeframe, according to EMU Energy and Sustainability Manager Steven Moore.
Those projects include replacing over 700 new insulated energy-efficient windows in Brown and Munson residence halls, increased usage of a natural gas turbine for the production of hot water in campus buildings, and placing over 260 recycling bins around campus, thereby increasing recycling rates by 80% since 2009. The university has also introduced sustainability-themed classes into its curriculum.
"It's just a number of smaller changes that add up over time and have this good effect on the university," Moore says.
The university is expecting to receive a LEED certification designation for its newly redone Pray Harrold building. Moore also points to the Mark Jefferson Science Complex's 85,000-square-foot expansion and renovation, due for completion this September, after which EMU will apply for LEED certification for the project. "If we would have built it at the same standards that the existing building had, we would have expected to have spent another $400,000 a year on energy for that building alone. By putting in more energy efficient systems for the addition and the existing building, we expect to have no additional energy costs in the building. That is a $400,000 energy cost avoidance, ongoing, for us."
Another $120,000 savings resulted from the implementation of night setback schedules to turn buildings such as the Halle Library off at night.
These efforts haven't gone unnoticed; EMU was just included in the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges
Source: Steven Moore, EMU's energy and sustainability manager
Writer: Tanya Muzumdar