UW Oshkosh uses 27% less energy per square foot of building space than it did in 2008? One reason for the drop in energy usage is the conversion of most lighting from fluorescent to LED bulbs. LED lights last much longer than fluorescents and save as much as 24 watts per bulb.
The University partnered with Johnson Controls to implement many energy saving improvements on campus. The most recent project involves replacing fluorescent bulbs with LED bulbs in the majority of buildings on campus. LED bulbs last longer, create energy savings, are easier to dispose of and do not contain mercury. More benefits include improved indoor environment comfort, lowered greenhouse gas emissions, improved productivity and safety, reduced maintenance and inventory costs, increased utility and operational savings! All of this helps us in our pledge to become carbon neutral by 2025.
Additionally, the projects are done in a way that requires little to no up-front costs for the university. With “performance contracts,” as they are known, the private sector firm pays for the project and the client (UWO) reimburses the firm through energy savings. Once the equipment is paid for, the university and the UW System realize the full savings.
Johnson Controls, who has sourced our LED lights and provided more energy efficient lighting to our campus, has initiated a 41% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from UWO with its work on several energy efficiency projects between 2002 and 2014 (Information from Phase 5 of the UWO Investment Grade Audit, August 18th, 2016). In Halsey alone, 2,590 new LED lights were installed with an estimated reduction in electricity cost of almost $13,000 in just one year. The electricity reduction for the campus attributable to the LEDs is worth $150,000 per year at today’s electricity rate.
What does this mean to you as a student? LED lighting cuts costs, reduces maintenance, and is less prone to breakage. It provides an eco-friendly, safer environment for students and staff while saving energy and money. LED bulbs are also recyclable and do not contain mercury which lessens the amount of of garbage in landfills and toxins in the environment.