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Dave Miller, Facilities Planning and Management, (515) 294-2631
Annette Hacker, News Service, (515) 294-3720


AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University's Dave Miller looks forward to spring break, though it isn't for reasons of sun, sand and surf.

Miller, Iowa State's utilities director, is excited about the $15,000 to $20,000 break in energy costs that will be saved in campus buildings next week.

Since 2001, Iowa State officials have encouraged minimum office staffing during winter and spring breaks to help with tight university budgets. The effort is part of an ongoing annual initiative to save $1.5 million in electric and heating costs -- about 9 percent of the university's total energy bill.

Many campus offices remain open over spring break, but they may reduce the number of staff working or the hours they are open, says Warren Madden, ISU vice president for business and finance. Madden has encouraged supervisors to be flexible in allowing employees to take vacation or leave without pay during the break.

Reducing thermostats, turning off equipment and lights and reducing energy use in unoccupied areas saves Iowa State $3,000 to $4,000 per weekday over spring break, and $6,000 to $8,000 per day during the cold winter break, Miller says.

Peak electric savings historically occur in September ($105,068 saved in 2002), when temperate weather reduces the need for air conditioning. December is the top month for steam heat savings-- $207,658 saved in 2002. Energy savings calculations do not include facilities such as student residence halls or Ames Lab.

Energy conservation plans were developed for all core campus facilities in 2001 with the involvement of building occupants, Miller adds. Through the first eight months of fiscal year 2002-2003, savings are $1.08 million. That's slightly ahead of schedule to reach the $1.5 million goal set and achieved in fiscal year 2001-2002.

"People have been very supportive," Miller says. "Using energy efficiently is the right thing to do, and we're doing this so that there is money for other things the university needs. When you spend money on energy, you don't have anything to show for it -- it's just gone. We want to save that money for things that we can see, feel and touch here at Iowa State."

For more information about energy savings at Iowa State, visit the energy efficiency site.

Did You Know?
-- Turning off computers and monitors every night and on the weekends saves $44 per station, per year at Iowa State.
-- 17-inch flat computer monitor screens require only 20 percent of the energy used to operate a 19-inch standard PC monitor.


Iowa State University
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Ames, Iowa 50011, (515) 294-4111
Published by: University Relations,
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