WINONA, Minn. – Winona State University will save approximately $85,000 annually in natural gas expenditures thanks to a steam trap project that replaced 235 failed steam traps on the main campus boiler system.
The university was one of seven award recipients honored by Xcel Energy at its 2011 Energy Expo in September. Winona State was recognized in the category of highest natural gas savings by a commercial and industrial customer through conservation for 2010. WSU received a one-time energy rebate of $7,050 from Xcel for the steam trap project.
Xcel Energy and WSU also worked together in the construction of the new residence halls and Wellness Complex to ensure energy efficiency.
WSU anticipates the Wellness Complex will achieve the university’s first LEED certification in late 2011. The Wellness Complex’s design reduces the building’s energy use by at least 30 percent when compared with traditional facilities of its kind. According to Xcel, WSU can expect annual energy savings of $60,579 over Minnesota code based construction for the Wellness Complex. WSU received a one-time energy rebate of $63,036 from Xcel Energy to help offset the higher investment cost.
Further efforts by WSU to conserve energy include: a 1-degree thermostat setback implemented in January, requested and approved by the WSU Student Senate; a campus-wide recycling program; use of Energy Star appliances; use of electric vehicles; installation of energy-efficient windows; and the Purple Bike program, through which students and employees are able to rent bikes free of charge.