Weber State University Success Story

Efficiency to the highest degree

Pictured from left are Craig Bruderer, Rocky Mountain Power customer and community manager, Tom VanCleave, WSU utility analyst, Jason Hone, Rocky Mountain Power project manager and Jacob Cain, WSU energy manager.Pictured from left: Craig Bruderer, Rocky Mountain Power, Tom VanCleave, WSU utility analyst, Jason Hone, Rocky Mountain Power and Jacob Cain, WSU energy manager.

Covering more than 500 acres, Weber State University’s Ogden, Utah, campus is comprised of 61 buildings to serve more than 26,600 full- and part-time students. In such a major facility, energy management becomes a top focus.

Since 2003 WSU has taken advantage of Rocky Mountain Power’s wattsmart® Business program to help reduce the energy use of lighting, heating/cooling and other equipment, lower costs and attain environmental goals.

“We’ve got about 30 projects eligible for efficiency incentives underway at any given time,” said Jacob Cain, WSU energy manager.

Saving on lighting

Cain cited an example where he and his staff have identified lighting upgrade projects across the campus, which they then prioritize using financial, environmental and other benefit factors.

In 2013, WSU converted the lighting in the Dee Event Center arena to LED. Cain couldn’t find any national examples for this type of project, so he engineered a custom solution and became the first to implement it. The results are impressive. The LEDs reach full illumination in about two seconds, a vast improvement from the 20-minute warm up time required by the predecessor lighting. In addition, they stay cool to avoid adding heat-load to the arena and save a significant amount of electricity.

In 2012, the Marriott Allied Health Building was one university facility that went through an extensive lighting retrofit, using Rocky Mountain Power’s pre-calculated incentives to help pay for the project.

Aging T12 fluorescent lighting fixtures with magnetic ballasts, as well as older T8 lamps throughout the building, were replaced with higher efficiency T8 fluorescents with electronic ballasts.

The placement of some fixtures was adjusted and lighting color also was updated as part of the project. “In the dental clinic, they were especially thrilled with the brighter white light,” said Cain. “And, the overall lighting load dropped nearly in half. “

WSU also did an innovative upgrade of its exterior walkway and parking lot lighting, switching from high pressure sodium to compact fluorescent lights. The project slashed energy use, while maintaining high campus safety standards.

Impressive results

Weber State University’s projects received approximately $1 million in Rocky Mountain Power incentives since 2003 to help offset upgrade costs. The improvements have reduced energy consumption by 30%, saving the school more than 10.8 million kilowatt-hours in electricity and $711,000 in energy costs annually.

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