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Energy projects help the environment, save money

Posted on Aug 18, 2010

The University of Wisconsin-Superior will reduce its environmental footprint and save an estimated $30,000 a year through to a project that replaced hundreds of older lights with new fixtures in two campus buildings.

Representatives from the non-profit organization Focus on Energy and Superior Water, Light and Power visited campus Tuesday, August 10, to mark the project's completion and to present university officials a rebate check for $28,115 that will help pay for the work.

Focus on Energy works with eligible Wisconsin residents, businesses, farms, schools, governments, and industry to install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The organization worked with UW-Superior officials to conduct an energy audit on campus, and helped to initiate and monitor the lighting retrofit project.

"From an energy savings standpoint, this was an extremely good project to pursue," said Dave Voss, energy advisor for Focus on Energy.

The lighting retrofit project involved removing 312 older light fixtures from Wessman Arena and from the gymnasium, field house and racquetball courts of the Marcovich Wellness Center. The lights were replaced with more efficient fixtures that are controlled by sensors which turn on the lights only when they are needed or turn them off after an allotted amount of time.

Focus on Energy officials said the new lights will reduce UW-Superior's electricity consumption by 548,550 kilowatt hours - enough to power 55 Wisconsin homes for a year. The reduction in energy consumption will eliminate an estimated 928,147 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.

Along with the environmental benefits, the project will save UW-Superior an estimated $30,130 a year in energy costs. Using the rebate from Focus on Energy, the $299,385 project will pay for itself in slightly less than nine years.

Another payback has come in the form of better lighting for building users. UW-Superior building managers said spectators and athletes have praised the brighter lighting in Wessman Arena and Mortorelli Gym.

The lighting projects were designed by Timper Associates Engineers of Wheeler, Wis. Work was done by Benson Electric Co. and Belknap Tel-Com, both of Superior, and APi Electric Co. in Duluth.

Voss praised the campus for working with Focus on Energy. "There's initiative on campus among students and among faculty and staff to save energy," he said."

Tom Fennessey, director of facilities management, said UW-Superior will work with Focus on Energy to find additional energy-saving projects on campus.


 

News Contact: Al Miller | 715-394-8260 | amiller{atuws}
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