Feature Article - March 2009
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Save Some Green

Smart Cost-Cutting Strategies

By Dawn Klingensmith

Energy Audit Case Study
Southern Illinois University Recreation Center

The university's Plant and Services Operations department
made the following recommendations:

Lighting: Replace magnetic ballasts and T12 lamps with electronic ballasts and T8 lamps. Replace low-wattage 120V mercury vapor lamps with compact fluorescents.
Estimated annual electric savings: 369,000 kWh
Estimated payback: 2.59 years
Additional lighting adjustments: Install occupancy sensors in low-use areas and de-lamp over-lit areas. Use photo sensors to automatically turn off lights when adequate daylight is available.

Pumping: Install variable frequency drives and controls to reduce hot-water-loop flow.
Estimated annual electric savings: 127,855 kWh
Estimated payback: 4.49 years

Building recommisioning: Address operational issues causing conditioning systems to run inefficiently. Adjust systems back to original design specifications and verify sequences of operation.
Estimated annual savings: $30,384
Estimated payback: 2.96 years

Water conservation: Retrofit toilets and urinals with new diaphragm kits and flow reducers. Replace showerheads with low-flow models.

Roof: Add reflective coatings to surfaces as repairs are made.

HVAC: Install blinds and window shades where appropriate to reduce heating and cooling loads. Turn off HVAC vents and/or ducts in unoccupied and infrequently used areas. Coordinate janitorial hours and work hours to minimize the number of hours the HVAC system must run. Raise temperature to 74° F in summer and lower to 68° F in winter.

Technology: Purchase Energy Smart Dell computers and turn monitors off at the end of the workday.