Truman Saves $1 Million in Energy Saving Initiative

Truman saved almost $1 million after an initiative to replace and upgrade some utility systems in order to be more environmentally conscious.

According to the annual energy report by Energy Solution Professionals, The university saved about 7.5 million kilowatt hours in electricity, 51 million cubic feet of natural gas, 10 million gallons of water and reduced its carbon footprint by about 21 million pounds of carbon dioxide.

Physical Plant Director Karl Schneider said the project cost $10 million that will take the University around 10 years to pay back.

Schneider said with the amount of energy the university saves around $1 million will be saved, so that the project pays for itself.

Schneider said the project was allowed by the state of Missouri to let universities decrease energy usage.  

The university began looking for a contractor at the end of 2014 and decided on Energy Solution Professionals.

The project started in the summer of 2015 and ended the fall of 2016.

Schneider said the project added LED lights to cut down on electricity, low-flow faucet adapters, toilet valves and shower heads, and upgrades to the steam systems on campus.

Schneider said there were other new installations including weather stripping, water chillers, air handlers and laboratory exhaust controls in Magruder Hall.

Temperature control units were placed in multiple buildings as well.

Schneider said the new equipment would last Truman around 20 years, so the university would be saving money after the project was paid off.

Truman also worked on things without Energy Solution Professionals including replacing sidewalk and parking lot light with energy efficient LED’s.

Schneider said there were a few things that needed to be adjusted. The original plan did not account for the consistent temperature in the library’s Special Collections and the pianos in Ophelia Parrish.

Schneider said though the project is new it will most likely happen again in the future, particularly adding new lights to the tennis courts or by the pool.

Donna Liss, sustainability action committee chair, said the project allowed Truman to sign-on to the American Campus Act on Climate Pledge.

The pledge, launched in 2015, included 318 colleges who meet the goals set by the act. Truman met the goals when we reduced our carbon footprint after the project.

Liss said the university has wanted to do the project for a while now, but waited until the time was right.

“We had been looking at it for years, you know, kinda on and off,” Liss said. “But everything has to really kind of lineup at the University in order for that to make sense.”