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Last modified: Friday, September 7, 2012

IU to conduct public hearing on energy master plan

Sept. 7, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington will host a public presentation detailing a new energy master plan to create a more efficient and sustainable campus environment.

The presentation of the proposed Integrated Energy Master Plan is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17, at Whittenberger Auditorium in the Indiana Memorial Union.

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Following a half-hour presentation by an IU steering committee and a group of outside consultants on the plan will be a 30- to 45-minute Q-and-A session/discussion.

The purpose of the plan is to define and prioritize categories of projects that will help IU Bloomington achieve maximum energy reduction at the lowest possible cost. It also reflects the goals of a Campus Master Plan to guide future development at IU Bloomington.

The plan was prepared by 8760 Engineering of St. Louis, which analyzed data on 554 buildings at IU Bloomington, including detailed modeling of the campus's 100 largest buildings. The firm also evaluated central heating and chilling plants, the campus's energy delivery infrastructure and alternative delivery systems.

Energy costs for IU Bloomington in fiscal year 2011 were $25.6 million. If the plan's recommendations are implemented, it is estimated the campus will save $9.7 million, or 37 percent, of the previous year's expenditures. Additionally, CO2 emissions can be shaved up to 53 percent.

In June, the IU Board of Trustees reviewed a draft of the Integrated Energy Master Plan, which contained the following conclusions and recommendations:

  • Implement energy conservation projects through continued fine-tuning of building systems, aggressive implementation of energy conservation facility improvements and installation of a natural gas turbine cogeneration plant with heat recovery boiler.
  • Repair campus utility systems, including critical segments of the aging steam distribution piping system; reduce steam distribution pressure and set up building steam trap reviews; and continue to provide building energy meters and benchmark use as a diagnostic tool.
  • Prepare to stop burning coal. Until coal is retired, retain all current available fuels for operating cost stability; analyze natural gas and coal costs monthly to minimize operating cost; heat with alternative technologies; move toward distributed hot water heating plants; replace aging boiler No. 5 with a new high-efficiency unit for more robust natural gas fired plant operations.
  • Design more efficiently. Continue to require LEED certification for all new buildings with enhanced annual energy tracking; supplement university design standards with energy system requirements for new buildings; continue to investigate renewable energy sources as technology advances reduce costs.
  • Encourage a culture of energy conservation behavior at every level of the campus community. Continue to promote campus programs that reinforce these behaviors.

At the Sept. 17 presentation, students, faculty, staff and community members will have an opportunity to hear additional details about the plan, ask questions and make comments.

The final plan is expected to be prepared for approval by the Board of Trustees this fall.