In the summer of 2010 Luther College was awarded $175,220 from the Energy Efficiency Community Block Grant (EECBG) program of the Iowa Office of Energy Independence. This award was part of a larger grant to the City of Decorah. Luther used these funds to make additional investments in energy efficiency, energy metering, data analysis, and communications technology.
A total of 21 energy management improvements (EMIs) were identified in selected buildings (Regents, Olin, Preus and Main) and in the Boiler Plant. The total estimated cost for the recommended projects was $250,440 with a combined simple payback period of 4.7 years. The total annual energy savings from these retrofit projects is projected to be 3,663.28 MMBTU, which is nearly 3 percent of Luther’s total energy consumption in 2009-2010.
Good decisions depend on good information. Thus, Luther installed additional electric meters so that all the main campus buildings are now metered separately. In addition, grant funds were used to install steam condensate meters throughout the heating plant’s steam distribution system. Luther is also purchasing measurement and verification services and a web-based interactive feedback tool that will utilize Luther’s building automation system to communicate real time data to members of the Luther community. The total estimated cost for these projects is $100,000. The data produced by this new metering technology will be vital to Luther meeting its goal to reduce energy consumption by 2% per year via an educational program focused on energy awareness behavior modification.