PULLMAN, Wash. — In recognition of a number of university-wide energy-efficiency improvements and environmental achievements, Washington State University President V. Lane Rawlins today accepted a 2004 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Energy Management from the office of outgoing Washington Gov. Gary Locke.

The award, presented today before the WSU Board of Regents by Rob Fukai, director of the state Department of General Administration, cites a number significant environmental benefits and energy savings achieved by WSU. They include a 29,538-ton annual reduction in carbon dioxide emissions (the equivalent of taking 3,938 cars off the road) and an annual savings in electric energy equivalent to the amount of electricity needed to serve 900 homes.

The reductions in energy usage and emissions result from a number of projects completed recently, including the redevelopment of the campus steam energy plant, lighting retrofits, and other replacements and upgrades at WSU facilities.

“WSU’s energy management program is truly outstanding,” said Fukai, a former Avista executive and past WSU regent. “The university’s comprehensive approach to energy efficiency has addressed projects as large as redevelopment of the energy plant and as small as replacing inefficient lighting in the residences.  

Fukai said that in partnership with Avista Utilities, WSU has taken full advantage of the available financial incentives for its conservation efforts.

“It’s a win-win for all concerned, not to mention saving the university hundreds of thousands of dollars each year on their utility budget,” he said. “And as a former WSU regent, it’s always gratifying to hear about saving energy so more resources can go toward delivering that world-class education.” 

President Rawlins said WSU appreciates the award, which recognizes the active energy management consciousness being developed by a variety of stakeholders on campus.

“The university is committed to maintaining an attitude of continual improvement in this challenging area,” Rawlins said.

The energy award recognizes energy efficiency and environmental improvements and achievements including:

Energy Plant Redevelopment Project – plant began supplying campus steam in August

  • Improved steam generation efficiency by more than 10 percent.
  • Reduced sulfur dioxide emissions by 99 percent, from 400 to 4 tons per year.
  • Reduced nitrogen oxides emissions by 90 percent, from 300 to 30 tons per year.
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions 31 percent, from 77,155 to 52,863 tons per year
  • Cost: $41 million.

Energy Service Performance Contracting (ESPC) Energy Efficient Lighting Retrofits

  • Reduced electrical usage by 7,078,561 kWh ($332,000) per year.
  • Removed 74.6 tons of PCB contaminated ballasts from campus.
  • Avista provides WSU $297,000 in annual incentive payment per year for 10 years through the Department of General Administration.
  • Cost: $8.8 million.

ESPC Campus Chiller Replacements

  • Reduced electrical usage by 1,459,159 kWh ($68,000) per year.
  • Reduced steam usage by 39,898,000 lbs. ($241,000) per year.
  • Increased peak chilled water capacity on campus by more than 600 tons.
  • Avista providing WSU $40,000 in annual incentive payment per year for ten years through the Department of General Administration.
  • WSU Facilities Operations partnered with the Washington State Department of General Administration’s Energy Program on implementation of the ESPC program.
  • Cost: $5.1 million.

Residence and Dining Hall Energy Upgrades

  • Installed Vending-Misers on 200 vending machines, 160,000 kWh ($7,500) per year.
  • Replaced more than 30,000 incandescent lamps with compact fluorescent lamps, 1,675,000 kWh ($115,000) per year.
  • Vending-Misers and compact fluorescent lamps were provided by Avista.

On-Going Campus Energy Conservation Actions

  • Campus Community commitment to wise energy use in their daily functions
  • Maintenance groups upgrade to more efficient equipment as opportunity allows
  • Operation groups manage various systems to optimize energy efficiency

WSU Design/Construction Standards for new facilities maintained to assure energy efficiency requirements are incorporated into facility designs.