UofL is receiving the money through a Commercial Rebate Program offered by LG&E and Kentucky Utilities that encourages qualified customers to replace aging, less efficient equipment.

The university’s electric bill has dropped about 23 percent because of an energy-saving project UofL launched last fall with Siemens Industry Inc.’s Building Technologies Division. The project promises to save some $30 million in energy costs on Belknap Campus by 2024.

UofL and Siemens soon will begin a similar effort to save energy at its other campuses.

About two years ago, we got serious about reducing our carbon footprint, said UofL President James Ramsey. Now we’re starting to see results, and this rebate shows we’re on the right path.

Officials from UofL and LG&E announced the rebate Aug. 24 at Lutz Hall on Belknap Campus.

Energy savings from this building alone account for $4,500 of our rebate, said Provost Shirley Willihnganz. Look up and you’ll see our new, more efficient lighting system. We also added a solar sensor and timer, so the only time these lights come on is when they’re needed.

More than $200,000 of the rebate came from installing energy-efficient lighting in about 70 buildings, including Ekstrom Library, the Swain Student Activities Center and Brandeis School of Law. Most of the rest came from switching to more efficient motors, motor controls and pumps.

UofL will use the rebate to help offset the costs of making energy-saving improvements.

The university strives to be a role model for the community in sustainability, Willihnganz said. We hope our success at saving energy will inspire businesses, schools and other organizations to follow our lead.

LG&E and Kentucky Utilities launched the commercial rebate program in 2008 and will continue to offer it at least through 2014.