Public Service Company of Oklahoma presented Oklahoma State University-Tulsa with a $260,134 incentive check for efforts to reduce energy usage on campus during a special ceremony on Tuesday at OSU-Tulsa. The rebate is the largest ever awarded through an energy efficiency program supported by PSO.
“Sustainability and energy efficiency practices have become more commonplace as the demand on our planet’s natural resources continues to skyrocket and green practices are being incorporated into our everyday living,” said OSU-Tulsa President Howard Barnett. “OSU-Tulsa is proud to be an energy conservation leader. By partnering with PSO, we are showing our long-term commitment to the viability of our state’s natural resources and ensuring a better future for the next generation of Oklahomans.”
OSU-Tulsa partnered with Johnson Controls of Tulsa to complete Phase III of the campus energy conservation program. The work included retrofitting light fixtures with lower-wattage bulbs and installing two new energy-efficient chillers to reduce electricity usage. The program also included replacing all toilets on campus with new environmentally friendly models that use 60 percent less water and adding aerators to all sink faucets to reduce water usage.
“We applaud OSU-Tulsa for its energy efficiency efforts,” said Stuart Solomon, PSO president and chief operating officer “OSU-Tulsa is leading the way in conservation and the wise use of energy, demonstrating to others that energy efficiency is not only the right thing to do, but it also saves money. We’re pleased to award OSU-Tulsa an incentive check of more than a quarter of a million dollars in recognition of the university’s conservation efforts.“
OSU-Tulsa’s energy conservation program is part of the OSU system’s Energy Conservation Program, which was implemented in 2007. OSU in Tulsa has saved more than $2.7 million in utility costs since the program began. That savings is the environmental impact equivalent to planting 704,169 tree seedlings, removing 4,941 passenger cars from the road for one year or reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 27,530 metric tons.
“The PSO Incentive Program is great for everyone,” said Angelyn Holmes, OSU in Tulsa energy education manager. “Tulsans win because PSO does not have to build new power plants, which helps to keep everyone’s rates down. PSO wins because they keep customers happy. And OSU-Tulsa wins because we were also able to replace old, outdated equipment and replace with energy efficient equipment.”
The OSU system is approaching nearly $30 million in utility savings since the program was first implemented. The first phase of the program included training students, faculty and staff on the importance of turning out lights and shutting down office equipment, like computers and printers, when they are not in use.
Phase II included ramping up OSU-Tulsa’s recycling efforts by teaming up with a number of outside organizations, such as PepsiCo with its Dream Machine, Sustainable Tulsa, Waste Management, Final Touch Housekeeping, American Waste, and Show Inc., to provide paper, cardboard, aluminum and plastic recycling.
The next phase of OSU-Tulsa’s energy conservation program includes implementing sustainable business practices, including a managed print services program that will reduce printing and copying volume while also decreasing energy consumption.