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UW-Eau Claire news release

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$CORE program announces student energy savings for 2011-12

May 3, 2012

EAU CLAIRE — University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students living in off-campus housing who participated in the 2011-12 Student Office of Sustainability $CORE (Student and Community Outreach on Rental Efficiency) program have saved more than $300 annually on their utility bills.

In October, UW-Eau Claire's Student Senate approved a proposal to participate in $CORE, a program aimed at educating student renters, property owners and property managers about conservation and efficiency in their rental units. The program made student rental properties more energy efficient at no cost to the student renters.

In addition to educating student renters and property owners about energy conservation, the program installed conservation materials such as compact fluorescent lighting, faucet aerators, low-flow shower heads, window film and weather stripping. The materials were installed at no cost to the student tenants or the landlords.

The 2011-2012 $CORE program has concluded and has audited 48 off-campus student rental properties. The program's final report estimated a total annual savings to student renters of $15,519, or $323.32 per home. The program staff installed 684 CFL bulbs, 97 low-flow sink aerators and 51 low-flow shower heads, in addition to necessary amounts of window film and weather stripping. For participating in the program, tenants were provided with a free pizza from Jim's Pizza. The materials installed will save 139,000 kilowatt-hours and 540,000 gallons of water annually.

On May 1 the Student Office of Sustainability reapproved the $CORE program for 2012-13. The 2012-13 $CORE program goal is to audit 80 more off-campus student rental properties during the next academic year. Students who sign up for the $CORE program next fall will have their rental property audited, be educated about home conservation practices and receive a free pizza. The 2012-13 $CORE Program is expected to launch early in the fall semester.

In a joint effort between the Student Office of Sustainability and Chippewa Valley Technical College, an application was submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency to seek additional grant funding. The application is still under review. The money from the grant, if awarded, would be utilized to form a joint $CORE program between UW-Eau Claire and CVTC, serving off-campus rental properties of students at both institutions. The grant money also would help purchase new auditing tools to aid the program staff in conducting more effective home audits.

Xcel Energy funded the 2011-12 $CORE program entirely and has donated power check meters to the Student Office of Sustainability for use in the $CORE program and others.

For more information, visit the $CORE website or contact Tyrel Zich in the UW-Eau Claire Student Office of Sustainability at 715-577-1570 or zichtj@uwec.edu.

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