Kansas Board of Regents OKs contract to implement $25.6 million in conservation projects

Regents OK plan to implement $25.6M in conservation projects

Heather Menchen, 25, a Kansas University student from Denver, works in the Simons Laboratories on West Campus on Wednesday. KU plans to spend 5.6 million in a project to conserve energy on campus.

? If all goes according to plan, Kansas University is going to save some big bucks on utility costs.

The Kansas Board of Regents on Thursday approved a contract to implement $25.6 million worth of conservation projects.

The action allows the issuance of bonds that will be secured through an estimated $2.2 million worth of utility savings per year, officials said.

If the savings don’t happen, then the company hired for the project — Energy Solutions Professionals of Overland Park — will be responsible for paying the difference.

Officials from several universities told the regents that they have similar energy efficiency contracts on their campuses and that they have been extremely successful.

“There are a number of these in place,” said Regent Jarold Boettcher. “The vendor is strongly incented.”

Theresa Gordzica, chief financial officer for KU, said, “We have looked at this one very carefully.”

An energy audit by Energy Solutions Professionals identified seven broad categories of energy savings projects in 44 buildings.

The list includes water conservation projects campuswide, improvements to lighting and steam systems, plus improvements to the labs in Haworth and Malott halls and the Simons Biosciences Research building. The lab improvements include replacing fume hoods, air-handling units and work on heating and air-conditioning systems.