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State Building Commission approves $3.6 million energy conservation project

RELEASED: Nov. 1, 2010

EAU CLAIRE — The Wisconsin State Building Commission has approved a $3.6 million energy conservation project at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

The project includes implementing 10 major energy conservation measures in eight campus buildings, as well as numerous other energy conservation measures in 21 buildings on campus, said Terry Classen, director of Facilities Management at UW-Eau Claire.

"By implementing the measures identified in the project, UW-Eau Claire will realize nearly $227,000 in energy savings a year," Classen said. "We'll recoup the $3.6 million invested in the project in just over 13 years given the energy savings that will result."

The project includes a variety of upgrades, including things such as replacing exterior lighting with new induction lighting systems; installing temperature control improvements in multiple buildings; and replacing or modifying fixtures such as sinks, toilets and showers across campus, Classen said.

"It's a far-reaching proposal that includes numerous energy conservation measures identified in a recently completed comprehensive energy audit," Classen said, noting that work will get under way in December and be completed by December 2011.

The project will contribute significantly to UW-Eau Claire's ongoing efforts to become a carbon neutral campus, said Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich.

"The campus community has made it a priority to be a leader in addressing climate change issues," said Chancellor Levin-Stankevich, noting that responsible stewardship of natural resources is among the university's strategic goals. "Since energy conservation is the most effective way we can reduce our campus carbon footprint, it's critical that we work to make our buildings more energy efficient. This is a project that will allow us to significantly reduce our energy consumption, and it also will help us lower our energy costs."

The multi-building energy conservation project also will help UW-Eau Claire comply with energy reduction goals stipulated by Gov. Jim Doyle, Classen said. In 2006, Doyle directed UW System institutions and other state agencies to identify strategies to reduce energy consumption by up to 20 percent.

Energy conservation is one of many strategies the university is pursuing in its efforts to be a responsible steward of its natural resources and to reduce its carbon footprint, Levin-Stankevich said.

"Sustainability initiatives are taking place all over campus," Levin-Stankevich said. "Faculty, staff and students are working together on projects that range from clean commute initiatives to serving local food in the campus dining facilities. Energy conservation is an important part of what we're doing but our efforts are even more far-reaching."

Mike Traynor, associate director of Facilities Management, developed the multi-building energy conservation plan for UW-Eau Claire.

"It is our expectation to implement successive energy projects in buildings not included in this project," Traynor said.

For more information about the recently approved $3.6 million energy conservation project, contact Terry Classen at 716-836-5278 or classetl@uwec.edu.

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JB/DW

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