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Volume 60, Issue 3

September 18, 2009

Being green saves green

With apologies to those whose offices and classrooms were warm this summer, Gary Reynolds, executive director, Facilities Services, is pleased with the results shown by campus energy saving efforts.

Reynolds estimates that more than $2.5 million in energy costs were avoided as a result of changes in personal behavior as well as specific actions such as improvements to lighting, plumbing and heating/cooling systems over the last four years.

Reynolds, joined by Jeff Davis, director, University Center, and Ralph Giese, director of operations, Residence Life and Housing, shared the results of short- and long-term energy conservation efforts with campus leadership this week. The three are members of the Mandatory Utility Containment Committee or MUCC.

“This summer, we learned that controlling temperature in our buildings isn’t exact,” Reynolds said. “Our goal was to move the temperature from 75 to 77. But we know we had many places that were 82 or more and that people were uncomfortable. It’s a learning process. We will improve.”

Frustration as a result of antiquated building controls aside, Reynolds is pleased with the results of efforts over the past four years that focused on improvements to lighting to reduce electricity use, plumbing improvements to reduce water use, and changes to heating and cooling systems to reduce electricity and natural gas use.

In a calculation of use of natural gas and electricity use, UCCS has shown marked improvement, Reynolds said. Additionally, energy costs per square foot have continued to decline as new UCCS buildings are models of efficiency.

Further improvements are possible, Reynolds said. Faculty and staff should remember to turn off lights and computers when not in use. Facilities Services is also looking at other possibilities including grant funds to make rooms in the Engineering Building more efficient, replacing lighting, expanding digital building controls and improving the campus irrigation system in an effort to reduce the more than $1.7 million spent on utilities last year.

Communique is the online newsletter for UCCS faculty and staff. It is published weekly during the fall and spring semesters, monthly during the summer semester. Communique is sent to faculty and staff e-mail lists and, by request, to other e-mail addresses. Previous issues are available in the Communique Archives at, and the current issue is always at Suggestions and comments are welcome. Send ideas to or call Tom Hutton, 255-3439.

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