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James Street
EKU-Siemens Alliance Will Mean Tremendous Energy Cost Savings
April 01, 2008

Siemens Building Technologies Inc. and Eastern Kentucky University today announced an alliance that is expected to result in a 30-percent reduction in annual utilities costs for the University.

EKU plans to reach the goal by employing numerous innovative strategies, including energy-efficient lighting; water-conserving technologies and methods; heating, ventilation and air conditioning system retrofits; building automation; and employee training. When formalized in July, the $22 million performance savings contract will be the largest such contract executed in the Commonwealth, officials said, and will allow the University to create a more sustainable, energy-efficient campus.

The project will be funded without additional taxpayer dollars. Costs associated with the improvements will be financed by energy savings guaranteed by Siemens, which says its program of improvements will save almost $2.3 million in equivalent energy costs annually for the duration of the 12-year term of the contract, based upon current utility consumption projections. Should the energy and utility reductions not be met, Siemens will reimburse the University for any shortfall. The agreement also allows University officials to address specific deferred maintenance issues across campus facilities, while leaving capital budgets intact.

“Today is truly a great day for Eastern Kentucky University,” said EKU President Doug Whitlock, calling the agreement “very good business in an economic sense and very good business in an environmental sense. We’re very pleased to be partnering with one of the world’s leaders” in energy efficiency and sustainability.

“We need to be more effective stewards of public money,” Whitlock added, “and we want to provide the best learning and working environment that we possibly can. I think we’re in a position of leadership in the Commonwealth.”

The efficiency improvements and retrofits scheduled for the project have been designed to reduce electricity use, and optimize cooling and heating energy demands and water usage. Once completed, annual energy savings are anticipated to produce a corresponding reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of more than 76 million pounds of carbon dioxide, more than 120,000 pounds of nitrogen oxides and more than 400,000 pounds of sulfur dioxide.

“Those statistics reveal some of the more tangible measures and beneficial effects on the environment that will come as a result,” said Berndt Baumgartl, Regional Vice President for Siemens. “When the new systems are up and doing the things we promise, school administrators will be in a much better position operationally – focusing less on facilities and more on curriculum. Resources that were once constantly funneled away to pay for maintenance and upkeep will be freed to provide world class learning experiences for the entire student body. A world class learning environment – one that is environmentally conscious and embraces sustainability in a very real way – will serve to attract the best and brightest students.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of Eastern Kentucky University’s vision and an ongoing participant in shaping its sustainable future.”

EKU News
Jerry Wallace
PR&M Communications