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LJWorld.com weblogs Heard on the Hill

In Kansas House testimony, KU chancellor says energy-efficiency effort has saved $3 million

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On the same day that a Kansas Senate committee cut $10 million for a new KU Medical Center education building from its budget plan, KU Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little testified to a different committee Monday, this one in the state House of Representatives.

KU posted her testimony, which was before the House Education Budget Committee, online. You can read it for a look at how KU is pitching its importance to the state.

Gray-Little runs through a lot of the developments, initiatives and accomplishments that were listed in her "State of the University" video a couple weeks back. There's perhaps an additional emphasis on some programs that reach out to various parts of the state — for instance, the School of Business RedTire program that matches rural small-business owners with recent graduates who can take the reins, ensuring those businesses don't fade away.

One other thing I noticed: Gray-Little reported that an energy-savings effort, conducted as part of a $25 million contract with an Overland Park firm, has saved the university about $3 million so far. KU may have reported that figure elsewhere, but this is the first time I've seen it.

The last time we reported on the effort, done with the help of Energy Solutions Professionals of Overland Park, was about a year ago. KU had just about finished all the work, a lot of which involved more efficient ventilation of the scientific labs in Malott and Haworth halls, and was waiting to see how much savings would result.

According to Gray-Little's testimony, the contract guarantees a total of $31 million in savings over 15 years.

Obtaining a breakdown of how exactly those savings were achieved is among the items on my to-do list. So let me know if you're curious about any aspect of the energy savings in particular.

Then set your computer to its most energy-friendly power settings possible before you email your KU news tips to merickson@ljworld.com.

Comments

Keith Richards 1 year, 5 months ago

Is dumping $25 million in cash upfront for a payout of $31 million over 15 years really worth it? Not sure.

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kuguardgrl13 1 year, 5 months ago

I think you're confused. Rock Chalk Park is an effort by KU Athletics and the KU Endowment Association. Those two entities are separate from the university. KU Athletics raises money through ticket and gear sales and sponsorship deals while KU Endowment filters the large donations. The Chancellor is talking about how KU is trying to efficiently use state funds, tuition, and other means of income in order to operate on a daily basis. KU is not able to use athletic money or the big donations for regular operating costs, salaries, etc. Athletic money stays with athletics while the big donations made to KUEA are usually earmarked by the donor for some purpose (capital improvements, scholarships, etc.). As an average student I don't see a dime from Athletics or the Endowment. Maybe the occasional free t-shirt handed out on campus. But the only money the state can be concerned with is what goes through the university. They do not have jurisdiction over Athletics or private donations.

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merickson 1 year, 5 months ago

Hey kuguardgrl,

Thanks for being alert, but just to clear things up, this isn't a Rock Chalk Park issue. The $25 million KRichards was referring to is the amount paid to Energy Solutions Professionals for this energy-efficiency work.

Thanks,

Matt

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question4u 1 year, 5 months ago

Spending $25 million to reduce energy costs by $56 million for a savings of $31 million over 15 years certainly sounds like a reasonable investment. After all, you're going to spend that $25 million either way. If you do nothing you spend that plus $31 million. If you make the investment you spend that but save the $31.

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melott 1 year, 5 months ago

Which has bought us toilets that don't flush and cold water for washing hands. Flu, anyone?

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