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Comprehensive energy-use audit begins
as part of $5.25 million energy-savings project

ConEdison Solutions is conducting a comprehensive campus energy audit and will begin implementing in late spring or early summer improvements such as solar water heating, rainwater harvesting, and heating and air-conditioning controls.

The carbon paw print graphic will mark places on campus where WCU has made a green energy modification.

The carbon paw print logo will mark places on campus where WCU has made a green energy modification.

“We are excited to enter into an energy service performance contract with the professionals at ConEdison Solutions Inc. because they will help us significantly reduce our energy use, and they will be paid out of the savings on our energy bill,” said Lauren Bishop, energy manager. “The project pays for itself.”

The company guarantees that WCU will save at least $5.25 million in energy expenses over the next 12 to 15 years. Improvements will enhance lighting efficiency, increase the use of solar energy, modify heating and air-conditioning systems and controls, expand water conservation, and boost shutdown technology for computers.

Efforts will be focused on Ramsey Regional Activity Center, Hunter Library, Stillwell Science Building, Hoey Auditorium, McKee Building and Coulter Building.

In addition, a kiosk may be installed in Hunter Library with an energy dashboard that shows how much energy is being consumed on campus. Also, the Carbon Paw Print logo will identify places on campus where an energy-saving measure was installed and share information about how it works.

“We really want to tie in the educational piece,” said Bishop. “Where you see the Carbon Paw Print logo, you will know we are being green and saving energy.”

Western Carolina recently submitted its strategic energy plan to the state from 2008-09. The amount of energy used per square foot is 31 percent less than six years ago. The improvement is attributed to the retirement of old equipment, installation of new equipment with higher operating efficiencies, active management of building occupancy schedules, construction improvements and educational programs such as WHEE Save.

“We met the state-mandated 30 percent reduction by 2015 several years ago and are still maintaining it,” said Bishop. “We are very pleased with our performance and excited about the new improvements we will see as a result of our energy savings performance contract.”

By Teresa Killian Tate

Categories | The Reporter


Photos | WCU News Services

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