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Johnson Controls system saves SMSU $1.2 million

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Southwest Missouri State University has saved more than $1.2 million in energy and operational costs since 1997, according to a press release from Johnson Controls Inc.

The savings are part of a project which includes the implementation of facility improvement measures by Johnson Controls.

Those improvements include retrofitting 15,000 light fixtures; installing Metasys, a facility management system; improving heating and air-conditioning systems; and replacing labor-intensive equipment in 52 of the major buildings on campus.

A contract between Johnson Controls and SMSU guaranteed that the university would save $716,923 by April 1998. The savings actually amounted to $1,288,128. The contract promises the university will save $8.4 million over a 10-year period.

"We're very excited about reducing our energy costs, but we are also going to be creating much-improved building environments," said Bob Eckels, SMSU physical plant director. "Metasys provides the capability for mechanics to be able to troubleshoot problems before they become apparent to the building occupants."

Metasys, Johnson Controls' facility management system, collects data from more than 8,000 points across the SMSU campus and regulates temperatures in all of the major buildings. Implementation of the Metasys system has resulted in a 30 percent reduction in equipment use.

SMSU has also established an Energy Committee, comprising 12 representatives from around campus, including students. The committee is briefed on the progress of the project, reviews trends of specific energy consumers and explores ways to promote energy conservation.

In addition, an energy awareness booth is planned for the fall 1998 Semester Convocation Festival, and a "Turn out the Lights" campaign is under way. This campaign encourages the last person to leave a classroom to turn out the lights.

If the "Turn out the Lights" campaign is successful, it could save another $60,000 each year, according to Johnson Controls.

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