SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The U.S. Department of Energy confirmed that the University of Utah has exceeded the goal to reduce energy by 20 percent in 2020. The university achieved this as part of the Department of Energy’s ‘Better Buildings Challenge’.

The university accomplished energy savings of 25 percent across 17 million square feet of building space since 2008, which was their base year for commitment.

Of the 23 universities that participated in the Better Buildings Challenge, Utah is the fifth in the nation to reach or exceed their energy saving goal.

“These savings impact everyone on campus. The university is able to save a significant amount of money while improving the air we breathe,” said Dave Quinlivan, director of operations and logistics in Facilities Management. “Buildings are made more comfortable and reliable, and demand is reduced on Facilities and Utility infrastructure. This extends the life of these assets and frees our capacity to serve new buildings as we grow.”

The University of Utah has been using less energy as it has been expanding. Total energy consumption and costs are the lowest they have been since 2011, despite a 25 percent growth in buildings on campus. The university credits their operational efficiency, source energy management and the use of increasingly efficient infrastructure to help realize their energy savings.

“These results are huge and truly unique at a campus scale, resulting from over a decade of work from our Planning, Design, and Construction and Facilities Management teams,” said Chris Benson, associate director of Sustainability & Energy in Facilities Management. “This is a real testament to the talent and dedication of staff members, the impact of design and construction requirements and the ongoing support we have all been given by leadership.”

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