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IU Approves $82 Million Energy Efficiency Plan

The plan approved by the trustees will upgrade 100 buildings on the Bloomington campus.

Indiana University board of Trustees recently voted to upgrade the 100 largest buildings on its Bloomington campus to make them more energy efficient.

The IU Board of Trustees is dedicating $82 million to the Bloomington campus more environmentally friendly. Vice President for IU’s Capital Planning and Facilities Tom Morrison, says the next step is determining how to pay for the plan.

“What we have to do now is figure out within the existing financial structures that we have that we can figure out different methods of borrowing using bonds,” he says. “Then use the savings from those projects to pay them back over time.”

Morrison says the upgrades to university buildings will include a variety of changes including new windows, light fixtures that use LED bulbs, and improving buildings’ heating and ventilation systems.

While the plan does call for a significant amount of funding, Director of Sustainability Bill Brown says the university will be able to pay back the $82 fairly quickly and will see a significant drop in the energy it uses.

“So, less than a ten year payback for 32 percent improvement in energy efficiency and a 52 percent improvement in reduction in emissions, which goes beyond the goal of the campus master plan.”

Brown says the upgrades will save the university $9 million annually in energy costs.

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    For a few years, I was on a committee and frequently heard about problems with the HVAC systems in the older buildings. Money wasn’t available to replace those systems. As a result, mold grew and affected the employees. I’m hopeful that these funds will help the employees working in those buildings.

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