Wednesday, December 2, 2009

UK Blue To Go Green

The University of Kentucky is going to cut their utility bills. This should be great news for the Commonwealth and will probably be another financial burden for Lexington residents.

The University's Board of Trustees has voted to approve a $25 million energy savings performance contract in order to slice about $5 million from their annual utility bills. That would include approximately $2 million in savings in their coal fired electricity usage and that after they showed their support for all of those coal operators of eastern Ky.

One of the ways proposed for implementing the savings is what is called "behavioral modification." This is the same tactic used in clearing the air around campus by eliminating smoking from the entire campus, indoors and out. If you are going to smoke, take it off campus. Just like you did with drinking and partying. After four years of education these students will not be the smoking, drinking, partying animals they came here to be.

Another way of saving on utility bills is the installation of new plumbing facilities. Probably the "low flow" type that will trim their water usage and their sanitary sewer user fee. This will then cause the fee structure to be recomputed for the surrounding residential areas, compounding the existing neighborhood problems that we have seen lately.

What I see missing from this contract is the University making an effort to either reclaim energy from the normal loss points or to capture any solar or wind energy that is readily available on the campus proper. How many of their large flat roofed building are capable of handling solar panels and which of their campus breezeways could be fitted with mini wind generators?

This contract is only the first phase of what they say is an ongoing effort. We will see.

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