The University of Iowa Office of the Registrar, Office of Sustainability and Facilities Management are collaborating to consolidate occupied space on campus this summer as part of an “energy smart scheduling” program. According to The Gazette, the program debuted last year in three UI buildings, and officials this summer plan to expand it to six buildings.
For the three buildings targeted in the summer 2014 pilot program, university officials didn’t schedule any evening classes so they could turn the air-conditioners off at 6 pm rather than the usual 10 pm. The university did, however, set alerts to prevent humidity levels from becoming too high.
The 10-week pilot resulted in a 19 percent reduction in electrical consumption in the three buildings as well as savings of chilled water to help cool the buildings. The energy reduction resulted in savings of about $10,000.
The summer energy-smart-scheduling program is just a piece of the campus’ larger goal for UI to consume less energy on campus in 2020 than it did in 2010 despite significant growth.
For the current year, UI budgeted about $78 million for energy expenses. Despite adding seven buildings to campus since 2010, the university is using 2.3 percent less energy than it did in 2010.