UTSA used about the same amount of energy in 2017 as it did in 2008. Thanks to multiple energy conservation efforts implemented by Facilities starting almost two decades ago UTSA’s energy consumption has remained relatively steady for the past ten years despite the addition of new buildings. Some of the conservation projects included investing in new energy efficient equipment, lighting retrofits, air conditioning setbacks and the use of renewable energy with particular attention to research facilities and the Thermal Energy Plants. These facilities are among the largest energy consumers at UTSA.
At the BSE, the projects ranged from refining the heat recovery system to reducing the number of fresh air changes and improving the dehumidification controls. At the BSB, the air distribution system was converted from constant to variable air volume to reduce the number of fresh air changes and allow the building to self-modulate based on occupancy. Other energy conservation efforts, such as replacing vintage equipment at the North Thermal Energy Plant (NTEP), are also currently underway. A 2000-ton steam-driven chiller was recently replaced with a variable speed, energy efficient 2500-ton electric chiller that uses a more environmentally friendly refrigerant. The plant’s heating boilers are also being replaced with more energy efficient equipment.
While all of these energy efficient improvements can be credited with successfully keeping UTSA’s energy consumption (and costs) down, conservation awareness also plays an important role in reducing energy use and waste. Everyone can help keep energy costs down by continuing to be mindful of consumption, supporting a culture of conservation and sustainability, and by using energy wisely. Remember to hit the light switch if you are the last person to leave the room or pull the plug on electronics not in use. Studies show that every little bit makes a difference. Please report energy and/or water waste to the Facilities Service Center via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Boiler at the North Thermal Energy Plant
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