Energy conservation program at CU-Boulder achieves savings

Buff Energy Star has helped cut energy use by 23 percent in five years
By Staff

Conservation efforts at three University of Colorado Boulder buildings cut campus energy use by 645,000 kilowatt-hours, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1 million pounds and saving nearly $65,000 in utility costs during the 2009-10 fiscal year.

The savings, achieved at Norlin Library, the Hellems Arts and Sciences Building and the Mathematics Building, were encouraged under CU-Boulder's Buff Energy Star program, which provides building proctors with reduction goals, tracking tools and models to encourage occupants to participate in resource conservation practices.
"Energy conservation is good for the environment and the university's bottom line," said Moe Tabrizi, CU's energy conservation officer. "The Buff Energy Star program shows communities within buildings, and the campus as a whole, that the simplest strategies, such as turning off unnecessary lights or equipment, can have a great impact."

The Buff Energy Star program has contributed to CU-Boulder's 23 percent slash in campuswide energy use and overall stabilization of greenhouse gas emissions since 2005, despite a 14 percent growth in campus facilities. The findings were reported last month in a carbon inventory filed with the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, of which CU-Boulder has been a signatory since 2006.

To be considered for Buff Energy Star status, building proctors must complete an energy audit, take action based on the audit, post energy and water conservation educational materials and show a 5 percent energy reduction over the prior fiscal year.

The building proctors being recognized this year for qualifying their buildings for Buff Energy Star status are John Culshaw of Norlin Library, David Nicoll of the Hellems Arts and Sciences Building and Donna Maes of the Mathematics Building. Each will receive a one-time $1,000 bonus from CU-Boulder Vice Chancellor for Administration Frank Bruno.

Specific energy-saving actions that were implemented by the building proctors include turning off lights not in use, enabling power-management features on computers and other office equipment, relying more on daylight and reporting energy waste to the campus conservation hotline.

Through the Buff Energy Star program, a total of 2.9 million kilowatt hours of energy and more than $300,000 have been saved since 2004. Total reduction of carbon dioxide emissions amount to more than 4.5 million pounds, according to Tabrizi.

The current Buff Energy Star cycle began in July 2010 and will run through June 2011. To enter a CU-Boulder campus building in the program, contact Moe Tabrizi via campus mail at UCB 453 or via e-mail

To learn more about energy conservation on the CU-Boulder campus and the Buff Energy Star program To report campus energy waste, call 303-735-6202 or