UK begins $25 million plan to make campus buildings greener



By Latara Appleby

UK announced a $24.6 million to energy retrofit 61 buildings on campus.

The project is funded by bonds and will begin next week. It is expected to save $2.4 million a year on UK’s utility bills.

“The project will install a wide variety of technologies that focus not only on lighting but also on mechanical systems and water usage,” President Lee Todd said.

The invitiate will reduce UK’s CO2 emissions by nearly 24,000 tons. That is the equivalent of powering 5,251 homes each year, planting 62,000 acres of trees and removing 46,000 cars from the road each year, Todd said.

UK is partnering with Ameresco, an energy solutions company, to carry out the project.

Todd also announced that parts of the campus will close three days early for winter break. UK will close for the holiday break following work on Monday the 20th, when grades are due, Todd said.  The university will reopen as previously scheduled.

Secretary of Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet Jonathan Miller spoke on behalf of Gov. Steve Beshear.

“Reducing energy consumption in publicly owned buildings is an integral part of Gov. Steve Beshear’s energy policy.  Kentucky has already made great strides to make state government facilities more energy efficient and environmentally conscientious,” Miller said.

Facilities management Vice President Bob Wiseman said the plan will save money in the future as well.

“The real value of this project is going forward is that this cash flow is at

year one and as utility rates rise over the next 12 to 13 years this will save or avoid real, hard costs going forward so the dollars will accumulate,” Wiseman said.

UK has also launched a new website to go along with the project.

UK Energy Savings Project

“It shows you every building and you can click on it and see what we’re doing in each one and I think that’s exciting,” Todd said.