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Energy Management at SMU

Energy Management at SMU

Energy Management Initiatives at SMU include:

Wind-generated Electricity
  • SMU uses wind-generated electricity in the Embrey Engineering Building. This means that 3% of the electricity consumed by SMU is from wind, and the University has joined the EPA Green Power Partnership program.

Central Plant and HVAC Controls Upgrade
  • The chilled water side of the Central Plant was completely renovated with new efficient chillers and cooling towers.
  • Every building’s heating and air-conditioning control system were upgraded to the latest technology.

  • All exit sign light bulbs have been replaced with LED bulbs that have a life expectancy of 80 years. This compares to the incandescent bulbs that lasted only three months. The program paid for itself in a year.
  • Many of the campus 60-100w incandescent lamps were changed to 14-22w compact fluorescent bulbs.
  • Occupancy sensors, which automatically turn off the lights in unoccupied rooms, have been added to 1,500 classrooms, offices, and conference rooms.

Computer Monitors
  • Flat-screen monitors, which consume much less electricity than CRT monitors, are used throughout the campus. This reduced the amount of electricity consumed and resulted in an annual savings of about $10,000.

Energy Performance Contract
  • The university has entered into an energy performance contract to upgrade various equipment and entirely paid by the energy saving. 
  • Phase 1 has been completed, which added a new 2400 ton chiller, upgraded about 750,000 square feet of lighting, added about 80 variable frequency drives and replaced about 100 motors.
  • Phase 2 will concentrate on water use reductions (waterless urinals, low flow showers, water closets and sinks) and upgrade about 200,000 square feet of lighting.

Long Term Electricity Contract

  • SMU has contract with Integrys Energy for a flat rate cost for electricity for 10 years. The contract, although not environmental significant, will save the university at least $1 million per year.
  • SMU is investigating purchasing the entire output of a biomass generation project in Mesquite, Texas for 9 years, which may save $200K per year.

Energy Recovery
  • Excess energy is being recovered from the steam system and used to generate electricity in the Central Plant. It saves about 500 kilowatts, or $80,000, annually.
  • Heat recovery devices have been placed on boilers to recover heat that would normally go into the air and return it back to the water system.
  • A “Green Machine” waste-heat generator is being tested at the Central Plant for the next 6 months, allowing unprecedented educational access.