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COLUMBUS, Miss. – Mississippi University for Women has reduced its energy use by 22 percent with an estimated cost avoidance of $1,024, 200 over the past six years.

Lighting retrofits in Welty Hall, Hogarth Dining Center, Pohl Gymnasium and Stark Recreation Center, the replacement of two older chillers and tighter control of building energy management software are just some of the ways MUW has ensured greater efficiency of resources, according to Dewey Blansett, director of facilities management.

Blansett thanked Columbus Light and Water and Tennessee Valley Authority for their incentive programs that helped to fund some of the lighting projects.

Future initiatives include an energy study for Cromwell Communications Center, taking the Education and Human Sciences Building chiller offline, as well as coming off the steam plant for winter heating. Projects in the discussion phase include pool lighting, HVAC controls in Hooper Science Building and LED technology for the Art and Design Building.

Blansett said students, faculty and staff can do their part by turning off lights and computers when not needed.

In October 2009, the IHL Board created an Energy Task Force to improve IHL energy management practices with support from the system executive office. The Board approved three energy task force initiatives: the adoption of a system wide sustainability policy; a system wide approach to energy management; and an energy conversation goal to reduce energy use per square foot by 30 percent by the end of fiscal year 2015 using fiscal year 2006 as the baseline year.

Nora Miller, MUW senior vice president for administration and chief financial officer, said, “This shows the hard work of facilities management leading the rest of campus, and we’re seeing the payoff from some of our investments in more efficient heating, cooling and lighting. This should look even better this time next year.”

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