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Business and Policy Areas
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Performance Contract Helps Save Millions in Energy Costs

July 16, 2003

With the help of a performance contract completed last summer, the University of Utah saved $6.6 million in energy costs, $400,000 more than projected. The four-year project was one of the largest energy performance contracts ever undertaken by a university. Improvements ranged from small light fixtures to large water chillers.

Energy performance contracts enable retrofit projects to be paid for with future savings from those projects. Among the improvements were 600 new low-flow toilets replacing older fixtures that wasted water, 400 upgraded laboratory fume-hoods, and three new water chillers coupled with two new water cooling towers. Nearly 68,000 light fixtures were upgraded or replaced to use less energy.

Orfeo Kostrencich, financial analyst for the university, noted, "[The performance contract has] been very successful. We've been able to improve the campus without requiring any additional taxes from the citizens of Utah."

The national Rebuild America program and the state Rebuild Utah program were instrumental in the university's success.