On April 19, 2010, the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA) announced that Kent State University at Stark was approved to receive approximately $1.3 million in financing assistance for improvements to ensure that the campus will make energy conservation a priority.
The approval was in response to the Stark Campus portion of an Energy Conservation Master Plan, adopted by Kent State University in 2008, to meet energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission reduction goals of 20 percent by 2014, as targeted by State House Bill 251. The bond financed monies were used for a long list of energy-efficient and conservation upgrades, including lighting retrofits, HVAC upgrades and kitchen ventilation improvements.
OAQDA approved a portion of the Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds that were allocated to Ohio, along with additional low-cost bond notes to provide the financial backing, allowing the campus to make improvements immediately and re-pay the bonds using energy cost savings. The measures in Kent State Stark’s plan initally was estimated at an annual savings of $182,000, recouping their original investment over a 10-year period, essentially providing the campus upgrades at no cost.
Kent State Stark’s energy conservation plan includes lighting retrofits, vending machine controls, HVAC upgrades, kitchen hood ventilation controls for The University Center and Emporium, high-velocity hand air-dryers and motion-controlled exhausts in restrooms, sensor-controlled ventilation in classrooms, building automation enhancements, retro-commissioning, variable air volume terminal controls and educational programming on energy use behavior. Early project estimates calculated an approximate annual reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 2,320 tons of carbon dioxide, 22 tons of sulfur dioxide and 4.35 tons of nitrogen oxide, which are equivalent to removing 308 cars from the road.
At the end of Fiscal Year 2013, the Year End Savings Report for Program Year Two of the Energy Conservation Project shows the actual results of this project to be truly amazing and have exceeded the earlier projections.
- The total savings achieved by Performance Year 2013 are $193,813.This includes $126,936 in electric savings and $64,878 in natural gas savings.
- Electric use affected by the Program has been reduced by over 1.7 million KWH, or 23% from the baseline year.
- This is equivalent to 1,258 MT CO2e (million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent), or the annual greenhouse gas emissions of 262 passenger cars.
- Natural gas usage has been reduced by 5,248 MCF, or 27% from the baseline year.
- This is equivalent to approximately 278 MTCO2e, or the annual greenhouse gas emissions of 58 passenger cars.
- The Stark Campus, with the help of its Energy Service Company (ESCo) partner, was able to negotiate new electric rates with a new supplier. Stark’s rates dropped from $0.97 per KWH to $0.67 per KWH, that’s a 37% reduction in rates that will result in a utility cost avoidance of nearly $200,000 annually for the next two years.