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WKU Office of Sustainability - Energy

Energy at WKU

The biggest news in energy at WKU is that the Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) on which we’ve partnered with Johnson Controls Inc. is complete. WKU’s ESPC includes $9.7 million in energy reducing and facility improvements. Thirty-eight existing buildings have been impacted with water and lighting improvements, touching 3.5 million square feet. The overall project has a 15 year payback period, with a guaranteed cost avoidance of more than $1 million in utilities annually. And, the project has created or impacted more than 200 jobs for the Commonwealth! 

The numbers:
• 35,000 indoor light fixtures including 1,402 occupancy sensors –saving 7,833,962 kWh annually (equal to annual electricity use for 709 homes)  
• 2,114 water saving fixtures and three rainwater collection applications – saving 20,312,792 gallons of water annually (enough to meet the annual needs of 62 families)  
These will reduce WKU’s greenhouse gas emissions by 21,487 metric tons annually!  

To complement the ESPC, the Department of Facilities Management has initiated some additional energy saving projects including:  
• Installation of reflective roofing on the Ivan Wilson Center for Fine Arts
• Weatherization of all administrative and academic buildings
• Installation of Elevator Misers that turn the lights off when no one is aboard
• “Smart scheduling” of classes and activities
• Temperature setbacks during nights, weekends and other unoccupied periods  

Many of these initiatives are described in the WKU Energy Policy.  

Our energy conservation efforts are paying off. Financial savings from 2008 were reinvested in the purchase of a natural gas boiler for the Central Steam Plant. The new boiler allows for increased fuel flexibility, reduced use of coal for heat, and a reduced carbon footprint. Additionally, 2009 savings have allowed for the purchase of a second natural gas boiler, which was installed spring 2011. The two new boilers will provide complete campus heating with natural gas.  

Real-time energy use for the main campus can be viewed on the WKU Energy Kiosk. (

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 Last Modified 9/24/14