University’s energy savings warm governor Locke’s heart

Washington State University recently was awarded a 2004 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Energy Management from the office of outgoing Washington Gov. Gary Locke. The award, presented during the Jan. 28 WSU Regents meeting, is a recognition of a number of energy-efficiency improvements and environmental achievements made universitywide.

Among the improvements cited by the award are 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.

In particular, efforts by Terry Ryan, energy manager for Facilities Operations, were lauded in the governor’s citation.

“WSU’s energy management program is truly outstanding,” said Rob Fukai, director of the state Department of General Administration, a former Avista executive and a 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.”

President V. Lane 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 award recognizes energy efficiency and environmental improvements and achievements including:

Energy plant redevelopment:
• 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) lighting retrofits:
• Reduced electrical usage by 7,078,561 kWh ($332,000) per year.
• Removed 74.6 tons of PCB contaminated ballasts from campus.
• 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.
• Cost: $5.1 million.

Residence and dining hall energy upgrades:
• Installed Vending-Misers on 200 vending machines, saving 160,000 kWh ($7,500) per year.
• Replaced more than 30,000 incandescent lamps with compact fluorescent lamps, saving 1,675,000 kWh ($115,000) per year.

Ongoing energy conservation actions:
• Campus community commitment to wise energy use day to day.
• 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.

Some of the achievements were realized with the help of annual incentive payments to WSU from Avista power company through the state Department of General Administration.

Next Story

Recent News

Remembering our history this Juneteenth

WSU System President Kirk Schulz shares a message reminding everyone of the significance and importance of Juneteenth, and the enduring fight for equality that continues today.

Regents approve biennial operating budget request

At a special online meeting on June 17, the WSU Board of Regents approved four action items, including the university’s 2025–27 Biennial Operating Budget Request from the state.

Hot but not bothered

WSU’s new Perennial Grass Breeding and Ecology Farm is developing resilient combinations of grasses that could better withstand hot temperatures.

Students SOAR with new mentoring program

The Student Outreach and Retention pilot program connects students with mentors to help guide them in their careers.