A effort to shave Northwest Missouri State University's utility bill resulted in a $60,000 savings during the month of December, school officials report.
Prior to its winter break, Northwest asked students and employees to reduce energy use on campus by taking such actions as lowering thermostats and turning off or unplugging powered items not in use.
The response, plus additional conservation measures taken by Northwest facility services personnel, led to a 17 percent drop in campus power consumption compared to the final month of 2011, according to a university release.
In addition, heating fuels consumption was down more than 30 percent, amounting to a total BTU reduction of 26 percent.
"With more than 2 million square feet in campus facilities and thousands of people on campus daily, individual efforts add up to big impacts," said Northwest Energy Manager Dan Boyt. "These measures help Northwest keep operating costs down and contribute to our broader environmental stewardship efforts."
An energy policy recently adopted by the university aims to further curb energy waste by establishing scheduling standards and temperature setpoints across campus.
The policy includes energy saving tips, contact information and occupant responsibilities such as keeping windows closed while heating or cooling systems are running.
Undertaken in partnership with Aramark, the university's facility services vendor, it is hoped the new efficiency and sustainability blueprint will save at least $300,000 annually.