UofL energy-saving project is outpacing its goals


    LOUISVILLE, Ky.—A long-term project to save energy at the University of Louisville is outpacing its original goals, a progress report shows.

    Fuel use on UofL’s Belknap Campus dropped 48 percent while electricity and water use dropped 27 and 31 percent, respectively, from their annual usage before the project started. The numbers were released last week in a report measuring energy savings in 2011, the first full year after improvements were completed.

    At the start of the project, engineers predicted fuel use on the campus would drop nearly 40 percent and electricity use, at least 20 percent.

    The overall reduction in energy use has trimmed the greenhouse gas emissions emitted on Belknap Campus by an annual 53 million pounds, an amount equal to removing 4,400 cars from the road for a year, officials said.

    In 2009, UofL and Siemens Industry Inc. launched a comprehensive $21.7 million initiative to save energy on Belknap Campus. Since then, workers have installed more efficient lighting, updated heating, cooling and ventilation systems and found ways to cut water consumption in 71 campus buildings and outdoor areas.

    UofL is paying for the improvements with the money it saves in lower energy costs.

    “We’re extremely pleased to see that this project is working the way it’s supposed to,” said Larry Owsley, UofL’s vice president for business affairs. “Our initial investment is paying off both in energy savings and dollar savings.”

    Engineers are still measuring results of the improvements made at UofL’s other campuses in the project’s second phase.