SUU and Rocky Mountain Power Partner in Energy Savings Plan

Published: April 30, 2020 | Author: Southern Utah University | Read Time: 2 minutes

SUU Energy Savings PlanSouthern Utah University and Rocky Mountain Power (RMP), through the Wattsmart Communities program, developed a Campus Energy Action Plan to be implemented over the next two years to maximize energy efficiency on the SUU campus.

“Energy conservation at SUU is everyone's responsibility - students, faculty, and staff,” said Tiger Funk, assistant vice president for SUU Facilities Management. “The Energy Action Plan outlines strategies that require participation from every area of SUU and gives others options to join Facilities Management in ensuring we are all doing our part to conserve energy on campus and make the best use of public tax dollars.”

Rocky Mountain Power’s Wattsmart Communities team facilitated two planning workshops (November 2019 and January 2020), where the team developed an energy vision, four focus areas, and eight actionable strategies to present to the campus community. Several stakeholders from SUU, representing a cross-section of the University, and Rocky Mountain Power staff, participated in the workshops.

Over the last three years, the University has achieved approximately 450,000 kWh in cumulative electricity savings supported by the Wattsmart Business incentive program. Through the planning process, the Energy Planning Team identified a University goal of increasing electricity savings to an additional 500,000 kWh over two (2) years. When SUU achieves this electricity savings goal, it will increase savings by 67% over historical annual levels, while also saving taxpayers more than $20,000 per year, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 150 metric tons.

SUU Facilities Management recently rolled out a “Lights Off” campaign, which is listed in the Plan under Strategy 1-1: Promote campus energy education and awareness. Stickers are being placed on light switches across campus to remind faculty, staff and students to conserve energy.
Other strategies being explored for reducing SUU’s energy footprint:

  • Engage 75% of campus community by tracking signups on the selected engagement platform
  • Pilot an energy competition at SUU
  • Perform a commuting survey
  • Identify the feasibility of partnering with Southwest Technical College for course credit and/or energy management certifications
  • Identify and apply for grants to support energy efficiency, renewable energy, or alternative transportation efforts
  • Identify opportunities for students to be involved in during capstone project selection (annually)
  • Design new buildings to be solar ready
  • Increase the project count across the following programs within the next two (2) years, to achieve 500,000 kWh in electricity savings over that time:
    • Increase Midstream Lighting projects to a total of five (5) per year
    • Increase lighting projects to a total of five (5) per year
    • Increase HVAC projects to a total of five (5) per year
  • Construct all new buildings to exceed the State of Utah’s High-Performance Building Standard

The Campus Energy Action Plan is intended to dovetail with overall campus sustainability efforts being proposed by the SUU Sustainability Committee recently created by SUU President Scott L Wyatt.

If you would like more information on Southern Utah University’s energy savings/sustainability projects, please visit

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