Alliant Energy partners with Mount Mercy College to improve energy efficiency
Campus-wide green/sustainability project will save 1.3 million kilowatt hours annually
August 20, 2008 – Mount Mercy College is working with Interstate Power and Light Company (IPL), an Alliant Energy company, on the installation of a campus-wide energy management system. Installation will commence this fall and will be operational for the 2009-2010 academic year.
Energy savings from the implementation of the campus-wide energy system are projected to exceed 1.3 million kilowatt hours annually, which is approximately 20 percent of their current annual electric usage. This is equivalent to the energy needs of about 135 average households annually and reductions in carbon dioxide emissions of more than 1,021 million pounds per year. Estimates from natural gas usage is 74,743 therms annually – nearly 23 percent of their current natural gas usage.
“Faced with a rising energy costs, Mount Mercy College was looking for ways to improve energy efficiency and reduce operational expenses,” said Steve Shupp, Sales Manager-Alliant Energy. “We enjoyed partnering with the college to identify and implement energy savings solutions. “
An energy audit was completed in all campus buildings. Using information from the audit results, several energy-efficiency projects were identified. Alliant Energy provided Mount Mercy with several options for addressing the inefficiencies and they chose to install an energy management and control system.
The Alliant Energy AccuPower® energy management system controls the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning for every room of every building on campus in addition to some lighting systems. Wireless capability is standard and allows monitoring of all building management functions from a single facility or remotely. At this time, Mount Mercy can only assess the energy usage of the whole campus, but at the conclusion of the project they will be able to view energy usage building by building. This will enable them to better analyze historic energy trends and predict energy needs for planning and budgeting purposes.
Mount Mercy entered into a paid-from savings Performance Contract with Alliant Energy allowing them to have the system installed with minimal upfront capital outlay. They will pay for the equipment over several years; however their energy savings and subsequent environmental benefits will be present from day one. Upon completion of the performance contract Mount Mercy will continue to reap the benefits of high-quality, high-tech equipment that continues to save money and lessen their impact on the environment.
Performance contracting is a service that allows business customers to invest in energy-efficient equipment, new technology, processes and materials with no out-of-pocket capital expense. The project is paid for from the energy savings on a monthly basis over the contract term.
“Finding ways to effectively and efficiently manage Mount Mercy’s resources and the impact our institution has on the environment are very important to us,” says Barbara Parks Pooley, Vice President-Finance and Business Operations, Mount Mercy. “We are excited to partner with Alliant Energy to create a campus-wide energy management system, which will benefit Mount Mercy, our community, and the environment. A major theme of Mount Mercy’s 2008-2012 strategic plan is ‘sustainable institutional resources,’ and our students, faculty and staff are proud to do their part to conserve energy.”
College students can go “green”
To show appreciation to the college and encourage college students to be more energy efficient, Alliant Energy will give each student a compact fluorescent light (CFL) during “College Move-In Day” on August 24 and at their annual “Clubs and Organization Fair” on August 26.
There are 260 dorm rooms at Mount Mercy Campus. If just one incandescent light bulb in each room were replaced with a CFL, the college could save $8,000 in electricity costs over the bulb’s lifetime. The CFL uses much less energy than a typical incandescent light bulb and can prevent production of more than 500 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions over its lifetime.
As a rate-regulated utility, Alliant Energy has a responsibility to educate customers about energy efficiency, offer incentives and partner with them to implement modern technologies to manage energy consumption. “We’re pleased with the results at Mount Mercy College and are confident these projects will serve as inspiration for additional energy-efficiency projects in the future,” concluded Shupp. “We applaud Mount Mercy for being good stewards of their energy dollars and the environment.”
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