Friday October 2, 2009

Learn. Lead. Conserve.

In a lights-out approach to help save $1 million in energy costs, Roesch Library will lose half its lights, without a noticeable reduction in light output.

The University of Dayton is taking a lights-out approach to an ambitious campaign to help reduce campus-wide energy use by 10 percent, or approximately $1 million, this academic year.

Roesch Library will remove half the lights and upgrade the others to high-efficient double-life lamps and electronic ballasts. The result will include a reduction in energy usage of more than 50 percent for the library, with a barely noticeable reduction in light output, said Jim Blevins, University of Dayton director of general maintenance and energy manager.

According to Tom Tatham, director of Dayton Power and Light's energy programs, the University of Dayton's project is one of the largest in the company's rebate program. DP&L's Rapid Rebates is a program for common efficiency upgrades such as lighting, heating, ventilating and air conditioning, motors and related systems and technologies.

"The University of Dayton is one of the organizations in the region taking a real leadership role in energy efficiency through both their academic curriculum and their own actions," Tatham said. "It's great to see our rebates playing a part in their overall energy efficiency program. It’s an excellent example of the value our customers can realize through efficiency."

The University estimates it will receive approximately $55,000 in rebates for the library project.

In addition to the library project, the University is actively implementing a range of other energy-saving initiatives to help reach its goal of 10 percent reduction, including:

  • Occupancy sensors switch off lights and shift climate-control settings into reduced-power mode when buildings and rooms are not in use. When rooms are in use, the University will set reasonable limits on space temperatures — 74 degrees in the summer and 70 degrees in the winter.
  • Automated controls for the central boiler plant ensure optimal performance.
  • Aggressive preventive maintenance keeps equipment operating at optimal efficiency.
  • Academic units are looking at ways to use classroom space more efficiently during low-occupancy periods such as summer so the University does not have to light and air-condition entire buildings for only partial or occasional use.
Blevins also is working to shift the University community's behavior.

"As a community, we can make a critical difference during the periods of highest electrical demand — between noon and 5 p.m. weekdays," Blevins said. "Some strategies for reducing peak demand call more for conscientiousness than for sacrifice. For example, when sunlight pours through the windows, lights could be turned off. Using natural light could cut costs significantly during peak demand hours. So could shutting down a computer or other electrical device before a two-hour afternoon meeting."

DP&L's rebate programs are environmentally smart. They help customers save money and help the company meet future energy needs. One of Ohio’s energy efficiency targets is to reduce electricity consumption by 22 percent by the end of 2025.

Business and residential customers can keep up-to-date on new programs, events and energy-saving tips and offers from DP&L on Twitter at 

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of news and communications, at 937-229-3391 or

Related Articles