WWU saves energy, money through PSE program

Western Today staff

Western Washington University projects and campaigns to change user behavior have resulted in significant energy savings and rebates through Puget Sound Energy programs.

Recently, Western completed energy saving projects in a number of campus buildings, routed through PSE’s rebate programs that included upgraded and optimized heating, ventilation and air conditioning controls in Western’s Academic Instructional Center, Humanities, Communications Facility, Haggard Hall and Science Lecture buildings.

The recent work by Western’s Facilities Management cost just under $254,000 and led to $246,000 in energy savings rebates from PSE to Western. The work will result in a net energy savings to Western of $30,000 per year.

“The rebate programs provide a great opportunity for Western to offset costs of energy conservation measures. I’m particularly proud of our people in FM who took the initiative to squeeze out extra energy savings in such an innovative way. It’s just one of the ways people are putting Western’s value of sustainability into action,” said Richard Van Den Hul, Western’s vice president for Business and Financial Affairs.

Since July 2013, WWU has partnered with PSE on 21 projects that resulted in over 5.2 million kWh saved and $750,000 in incentive funding. These projects included lighting upgrades, HVAC control system upgrades, HVAC retrofits, and the ongoing implementation of a Resource Conservation Management program.

The total electric savings is enough to power over 400 homes per year and has led to substantial savings on the university’s power bill.

“Western Washington University is a leader in energy efficiency, as demonstrated by continued participation in our programs and ongoing behavioral campaigns, which include Sweater Days, Power Down, and Go for the Green,” said Ryan Lambert, manager of PSE’s Business Energy Management.

Sweater Days, Power Down and Go for the Green are behavior-change campaigns run by Western’s Office of Sustainability.

John Furman, director of Western’s Facilities Management, said that the software programming within the campus building automation control system was highly innovative in the most recent energy-saving projects.

“The innovation went one step further in packaging the control software programming code in templates that can be applied to many other locations across campus for yet more energy savings. This is truly exceptional work by the Facilities Management crew!” Furman said.

Monday, April 27, 2015 - 11:32am
Seth Vidana, leader of Western Washington University's Office of Sustainability, addresses a crowd of WWU and PSE officials at a ceremony Friday, April 24, on WWU's Bellingham campus. Image courtesy Carey Rose, Puget Sound Energy

Seth Vidana, leader of Western Washington University's Office of Sustainability, addresses a crowd of WWU and PSE officials at a ceremony Friday, April 24, on WWU's Bellingham campus. Image courtesy Carey Rose, Puget Sound Energy

Richard Van Den Hul, the vice president for Business and Financial Affairs at Western Washington University, addresses a crowd of WWU and PSE officials at a ceremony Friday, April 24, on WWU's Bellingham campus. Image courtesy Carey Rose, Puget Sound Ener

Richard Van Den Hul, the vice president for Business and Financial Affairs at Western Washington University, addresses a crowd of WWU and PSE officials at a ceremony Friday, April 24, on WWU's Bellingham campus. Image courtesy Carey Rose, Puget Sound Ener

Seth Vidana, leader of Western Washington University's Office of Sustainability, addresses a crowd of WWU and PSE officials at a ceremony Friday, April 24, on WWU's Bellingham campus. Image courtesy Carey Rose, Puget Sound Energy

Seth Vidana, leader of Western Washington University's Office of Sustainability, addresses a crowd of WWU and PSE officials at a ceremony Friday, April 24, on WWU's Bellingham campus. Image courtesy Carey Rose, Puget Sound Energy

Greg Hough, assistant director of Facilities Management at Western Washington University, addresses a crowd of WWU and PSE officials at a ceremony Friday, April 24, on WWU's Bellingham campus. Image courtesy Carey Rose, Puget Sound Energy

Greg Hough, assistant director of Facilities Management at Western Washington University, addresses a crowd of WWU and PSE officials at a ceremony Friday, April 24, on WWU's Bellingham campus. Image courtesy Carey Rose, Puget Sound Energy