Sustainability initiatives often start with energy since it is central to issues in environmental conservation. UNTHSC’s goals are to reduce energy consumption and make the campus more energy efficient. Since 1999, the campus has been investigating ways to accomplish these goals and has saved the university millions of dollars through energy efficiency efforts (click on the picture to the right).
Energy Savings Performance Contract: Phase I
UNTHSC began aggressive energy conservation efforts in 1999 when it completed a detailed energy audit for several of the buildings on campus. In 2001, a feasibility study was completed concerning the implementation of solar power on campus, but was concluded to not be a cost effective energy source at the time.
In 2001, UNTHSC contracted with Tour Andover Controls (TAC), now Schneider Electric, to complete a two phase guaranteed energy conservation project. Phase I included:
- Lighting efficiency improvements
- Replacing two chillers
- Installing direct digital controls
- Domestic water conservation efforts
Phase I was a $3.2 million project financed through the Texas Public Finance Authority’s Master Lease Purchase Program. A measurement and verification plan was put in place along with training of university personnel. The energy and water reductions exceeded expectations and performance guarantee and resulted in a total cost avoidance of $1,577,844 as of 2006. According to EPA figures, the utility savings resulted in a reduction of CO2 emissions by approximately 25,425 tons, the equivalent of removing 5,085 cars from the road annually or planting 6,916 acres of trees.
Energy Savings Performance Contract: Phase II
In 2010, UNTHSC began phase II of the Energy Savings Performance Contract with Schneider Electric. Phase II included:
- Motion sensor lights
- Window replacements
- Energy efficiency lighting in the buildings and parking garages
- Installing a computer power management system
- Mechanical upgrades to several building chillers
- Installation of a new water management package
Phase II was an $8.6 million guaranteed and self-funded investment. This phase was forecasted to save $835,000 annually, pay for itself in 10.3 years, and create $2.7 million in positive cash flow for the university. The environmental impact includes a reduction of over 2,400 tons of CO2 annually.