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greening UM - KRELF


Approved Projects

Thus far, approximately $40,000 have been allocated from KRELF funds to impliment approved projects. The projects listed below were approved and are either completed or are currently being implemented.

Congratulations to the students whose projects were approved and thank you for working to make the University of Montana more sustainable!

Student Recreation Center Air Handling Upgrades

With $71,400 from KRELF, the Student Recreation Center will be installing variable frequency drives on several of their air handling units. These modifications will save the SRC approximately $23, 742 per year, making the potential payback less than 3 years. Projects like this aren't necessarily flashy (or visible to the average gym user), but they make a huge impact on campus energy consumption!

2013/2014 Eco Rep Program

Eco Rep Board

With a $7,620 grant from KRELF, the UM Eco Rep program will be off and running for the 2013/2014 academic year! A team of students dedicated to sharing sustainability info with their peers, the Eco Reps work in UM residence halls to help students connect out-of-class living with sustainable, lower impact options. Educational programming will include energy efficiency competitions, residence hall recycling, events centered around local and seasonal food choices, and much more.

School of Business Administration Bottle Refilling Stations

Water bottle refill station

Reducing the need for plastic and disposable containers falls within KRELF's scope of funding, hence proposals like this and Dining Services' reusable to-go container proposal. For this project, KRELF has provided $2,000 for the purchase of water bottle refilling stations. The stations encourage the re-use of containers and demonstrate resource conservation by counting the number of bottles conserved on a digital display.

Piping Insulation in the Student Recreation Center

Insulating pipes in our buildings is one of the fastest and most affordable energy efficiency projects. This loan for $5,950 will allow the SRC to insulate the pipes in their mechanical room, saving 80.6 mmBTU per year and keeping 37.5 metric tons of CO2 from entering our atmosphere each year.

University Center Pedal Powered PA System

Eco Team Solar Car

Who says energy conservation can't be fun? This student-led proposal was granted $10,510 for the purchase of a PA system that is entirely human powered and is available for rent through the UC. Aside from energy savings, the PA System acts as an educational tool for students and event attendees, helping viewers to link our day-to-day activities with energy consumption and the source of the energy we often take for granted.

Smart Buildings Initiative

As the first of three student-led investments in campus energy conservation, the Smart Buildings Initiative was awarded $30,000 for the purchase of real-time energy monitoring equipment that will help UM determine more exactly the energy consumption of individual buildings. The data provided by the monitors will allow us to focus our energy efficiency projects for the greatest effect.

University of Montana Solar Car

Eco Team Solar Car

A grant of $1,730 helped University of Montana College of Technology students build a solar powered utility vehicle to compete in the 2012 Shell Eco Marathon April 2012. KRELF funds were used to purchase items like battery cells and a battery management system for the competition vehicle. Congratulations to the UM Eco Marathon Team!

UM FLAT Low Flow Shower Heads

A small loan financed the purchase of two low flow shower heads for the UM FLAT house. Each low flow shower head uses approximately 1.25 gallons per minute (GPM) of water, compared to the existing shower heads which used approximately 2.5 GPM.

ENERGY STAR Approved Refrigerator and Freezer

This grant allowed UM FLAT to purchase an Energy Star approved refrigerator and freezer unit to replace an existing, damaged unit. The new refrigerator and freezer requires less energy to operate, does not contain ozone depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and serves as another example of how to implement more sustainable practices in a residential setting.

PEAS Farm Hoop House

Funded in part through a loan and in part through a grant, a 3,000 square foot hoop house (greenhouse) will be constructed at the PEAS Farm. The hoop house will capture and use solar energy, extend the growing season, increase productivity during the growing season, and provide intensively-grown, healthy, local produce to University Dining Services and the university community through UM Farm-to-College Program, in conjunction with Garden City Harvest. The loan will be repaid from the sale of veggies grown in the hoop house.

UM FLAT Solar Panels

This grant project provide electrical upgrades and prepared the roof of the UM Forum for Living with Appropriate Technology (UM FLAT) for installation of photovoltaic array. Northwestern Energy provided the panels to UM FLAT for free. The panels were installed summer 2011. From their installation date until October 2011, the panels have produced more energy than the UM FLAT consumed during the same time period.

School of Extended and Life Long Learning Solar Panels

School of Extended and Life Long Learning Solar Panels

This loan and granted funded project allowed the School of Extended Life Long Learning to install a 2.3 kilowatt solar panel on the James E. Todd Building (pictured) and an energy monitoring system. Ten operating solar panels can produce up to 2,300 watts of power. The Environmental Studies Program and School of Extended and Life Long Learning also helped fund this project. Check out the real-time energy monitoring data provided by Alter Enterprises.

UM Recreation Center Daylight Harvesting and Lighting Improvements

As part of a larger project in collaboration with Northwestern Energy, KRELF provided a $4,000 loan to the UM Recreation Center to improve the lighting within the gym. Completed over the 2011 summer, this project added skylights and enhanced occupancy sensors, as well as other upgrades, to provide better lighting as well as conserve energy. Check out the skylights and other improvements the next time you are on the basketball court!

Reusable To-Go Container Service

This project used KRELF funds for University Dining Services (UDS) to purchase reusable to-go containers and offered their use to students as an additional service for $5. It seeks to provide a reusable, affordable alternative to the compost-able to-go containers currently provided to students at the Food Zoo; to reduce landfill waste; to instill values of reuse; to reduce the costs of the current to-go program; and to reduce energy consumption. For more information about the to-go containers, check out the Montana Kaimin's story on the containers.

Lights Out at Curry Health Center

Room occupancy sensors will be installed in twenty-one (21) rooms identified by building manager Richard Curtis as good targets for these sensors. Sensors were purchased from Watt Stopper and were installed by UM Facilities Services.The goal of this project is to substantially reduce the energy expenditure for lighting Curry Health Center by installing room occupancy sensors in rooms with high savings potential.

Check Out Kill-A-Watt Electricity Usage Monitors

Four Kill A Watt electricity usage monitoring power strips and ten single-plug electricity usage monitors were purchased under a KRELF grant. The monitors are available for temporary checkout to students and others wishing to conduct energy monitoring for developing and/or carrying out KRELF proposals. The goal is to make low-cost electricity use monitoring equipment available to students wishing to develop KRELF proposals so that they can gather electricity usage data for developing energy conservation project proposals.Information regarding how to check out an electricity monitor is available on the GreeningUM website.

Genuine Draft

Approved for $2,500, for laundry room exhaust fan heat-switch, motion-activated light sensors, and installation cost in Jesse Hall and Aber Hall. Project includes funding for two AC Hour Meters and 2 Light On/Off Dataloggers. The equipment will reduce electricity costs of having exhaust fans and lights run 24 hours a day all year long. The project has an approximate 3-year payback, which will be negotiated with Resident Life.

Operation Clean Laundry

Approved for $10,400, to replace 16 washing machines in Jesse and Aber. The RELF Committee considers this project a loan and expects pay back over a maximum of six years.
Note: Although the project proposer provided some additional information and made a better case for there being substantial energy saving, he still did not provide hard data based on energy costs to UM, granted that is difficult for washing machines that use electricity and hot water.

Enabling the Prius Effect at the UM FLAT

Approved for $456, for real-time energy monitoring system for second house at the UM FLAT. Project is expected to allow UM FLAT to have complete data on energy use for the entire community and will encourage residents of the second house to save energy by closely monitoring their energy use. Sponsors indicate that system will also educate visitors on living more sustainability.

Graphics, Design, and Layout by Spectral Fusion Designs, 2013.