The City of Cedar Falls has received a grant of $156,130 from the Iowa Office of Energy Independence to reduce energy use in specific city, school and University of Northern Iowa buildings. Funding comes from the federal American Recovery and Rehabilitation Act (stimulus money) through the state. Matching funds of at least 50% were required.
Mayor Jon Crews said only cities or counties could apply for these funds. "We're pleased that Cedar Falls could help the local schools and the university continue the energy reduction efforts that we're all taking."
Energy reduction work for projects in the UNI Library and Wellness Recreation Center is already started and will be completed by August, according to John Streicher, senior facilities engineer. "We're reducing lighting use in the Rod Library by turning off every other fixture on the fourth floor (floors 1-3 have been completed), installing LED (low emitting diode) exit lights that are energy efficient, occupancy sensors, and daylighting controls." These efforts will reduce energy use in the building by 142 kW and save about $39,000 annually, according to UNI records.
In the Wellness Center later this summer, metal halide fixtures in the basketball courts will be replaced with energy efficient fluorescent lights and occupancy timers. "Currently the metal halide fixtures in the basketball courts take seven minutes to come on so lights are usually left on to anticipate users," Streicher explains. Fluorescent bulbs on timers will allow users to turn on the lights to match court use. Ventilation to reduce humidity will also be improved resulting in energy savings of 40 kW and about $43,500 annually.
The city plans to convert lights in the Cedar Falls Recreation Center to more energy efficient fixtures, said Steve Bernard, Cedar Falls Utilities customer services and business development director. This work will be started in spring 2011 and be completed that summer.
"The city's Recreation Center is highly visible and an ideal candidate for energy improvements that can be on display for the whole community," Bernard notes. "The building already uses geothermal heating and cooling, a substantial amount of day lighting, and will soon have a more energy efficient boiler installed. "All of these projects show Cedar Falls' commitment to energy reduction. The Recreation Center will be a showcase of efficient technology," he said. The lighting retrofit will reduce energy demand by 21 kW for an annual savings of about $6,300.
In 2012, four Cedar Falls Schools will convert to more energy efficient lighting fixtures in three elementary buildings and Cedar Falls High school. Doug Nefzger, director of business for the school district, estimates this will save the schools more than $16,000 annually and reduce energy use by 71 kW.
"The district has taken a vigorous approach to energy conservation especially over the last eight years, however inefficient fluorescent systems still exist in a number of building areas," Nefzger said. "This project will address these areas to expand the comprehensive nature of our approach to energy conservation."
"The city, schools, and UNI all have a history of working to reduce energy use," Crews noted. "This federal/state funding helps us continue our many sustainability efforts."