UNM Cuts Energy Use 13.4%

March 26, 2009

The University of New Mexico


Contact : Benson Hendrix, 505-277-1816
Email: bhendrix@unm.edu

Thursday, March 26, 2009

UNM Cuts Energy Usage 13.4%, Reduces Utility Spending by $2.4 Million
Carbon Emission Reductions Equal to 2,440 Cars

The University of New Mexico’s Energy Conservation Initiative has reduced energy usage at UNM’s Albuquerque campus by 13.4% in its first 10 months, leading to reduced utility spending of $2.4 million, according to Mary Vosevich, Director of the University’s Physical Plant Department. 

The program reduced UNM’s carbon dioxide emissions by 13,603 metric tons, the equivalent of removing 2,440 automobiles from the highways, Vosevich added.

During the 10 months since it was launched last May, the Initiative has produced an 18.5% reduction in the University’s steam usage and a 3% reduction in overall electricity use.  Chilled water consumption was reduced by 16.4% during the same period, Vosevich said.

“We’re very pleased with the initial results of our relatively young Energy Conservation Initiative,” Vosevich said, “and we’re looking forward to additional savings as the Initiative expands to our branch campuses and the UNM Hospital.”  So far, the Initiative has been launched only on the university’s Albuquerque’s campus, she explained.

Over the course of the next decade, the Initiative hopes to save taxpayers upwards of $57 million, Vosevich noted.

As part of the Initiative, teams of UNM “energy conservation educators” work with professional engineering and technical staff from a private concern, Energy Education, to currently perform detailed physical and mechanical assessments and proper adjustments to 160 buildings located on UNM’s main, north and south campuses to monitor and reduce cooling, heating, water and lighting usage.  Since many of the structures are older and some are quite large (Main Campus structures alone occupy approximately 10 million square feet), the effort requires a building-by-building, room-by-room analysis, Vosevich explained.

“This Energy Conservation Initiative is intensive with regard to the number of energy evaluation points across our campus, vigilant in its constant auditing of each building, and aggressive in its effort to train our UNM energy conservation educators on how to perform the extensive and often complicated daily measurement and verification process that’s required.”