Osborne: WKU saved $160,000 during reduced summer hours

Nick Bratcher

WKU saved $160,802 and reduced its electrical kilowatts used by 16 percent while operating under reduced summer hours this year, according to an email sent Friday by John Osborne, vice president for Campus Services and Facilities.

Osborne noted a significant difference in energy consumption between summer of 2010 and 2011, when hours changed from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. to 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

But Osborne said the reduced hours were not the only reason for the decrease in energy consumption.

“It’s not any one single component,” he said. “It’s a collective composite. The reduced hours are one of several ways that is included in the message.”

Osborne credited the Energy Savings Performance Contract for the vast majority of savings. The ESPC is effective at WKU because it takes advantage of its “major consumer” energy bill, Osborne said.

“The bill is based on two variables,” he said. “It’s very different than a residential energy bill. It is not only the base cost of consumption but also based on your peak demand.

“If at any time during a building’s operational period its energy consumption somehow peaks above what is normal use, then the energy company must have capacity to compensate for that peak at all times. You’ve got to keep that peak down.

“We saved money by preventing those energy spikes.”

Osborne said building consolidation played a major factor in reducing energy costs as well.

In his email, Osborn said the data from this summer’s energy bill will “assist us in planning the  Summer 2012 schedule which will be made in the coming weeks.”

WKU has now returned to regular operating hours, as MASTER Plan students begin move-in on Saturday and other students on Thursday.

Osborne also noted that though “disruptive” campus construction projects aren’t 100 percent complete at this point, all vehicular and pedestrian pathways affected are now open.

“Rest assured, as we complete this work, we will pay close attention to detail and restore the campus so that we preserve and protect one of our most important assets, a beautiful and attractive campus,” Osborne said.