Energy Officials Eye Medical Campus Conservation Efforts
Credit: UNMC Public Relations
Representatives from the National Association of State Energy Officials visited the UNMC/Nebraska Medicine campus last week following the group's meeting in Omaha.
UNMC Vice Chancellor for External Affairs Bob Bartee and Ken Hansen, Associate Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance at UNMC and Executive Director of Campus Facilities at Nebraska Medicine, hosted the group, which included David Bracht, Director of the Nebraska Energy Office.
"We had had a chance to tour — myself and several of my staff — to see what UNMC had done with their focus on energy efficiency, and it's really quite amazing," Bracht said. "I thought it would be a great opportunity to expose the directors from the central regional states as to what can happen, particularly in an environment like the medical center. Seeing how innovative Ken and all the staff have been is really great."
Hansen said he was pleased to host the group. In addition to a presentation on campus energy use that highlighted the med center's 25.6 percent reduction in energy use over the past five years, Hansen and Bartee also led the group on a tour of the iEXCELSM visualization hub, the central utility plant and other campus buildings.
The visit gave Hansen a chance to spotlight how the med center has used approximately $13 million in stimulus funds on campus, funds that came through the state energy office from the federal government.
Hansen said the visit "says wonders about UNMC and the things that we've done through the energy office. We've been a case to stand up and demonstrate what can be done with the investment and the technologies available out there, including technologies that we've been in the forefront of deploying ourselves."
The stimulus funds, leveraged with other state funds and matching dollars, helped drive UNMC cuts in energy and water usage, Hansen said.
"We also reinvested the savings back into more investments and upgrades in capital improvements," he said. "So that's gotten us where we are today — and we're hoping to compete and get additional funds as we go into the future."