In FY 2006, the College Board of Mississippi challenged its public universities to meet a goal by 2016: reduce energy consumption by 30 percent per square foot on campus. Nearly eight years into the project, several institutions, including ACE members, are well on their way to meeting this goal.
The University of Southern Mississippi focused its efforts on investing in making new buildings more efficient and upgrading existing buildings with modern technology. So far, it has reduced consumption by 29 percent and saved more than $8 million.
Because of these savings, Southern Miss estimates it has been able to avoid increasing tuition to offset energy-related increases.
Another institution, Mississippi State, upgraded its HVAC systems and reconfigured how buildings energy systems were scheduled. It also has introduced campus-wide sustainability initiatives to engage both students and faculty.
With more conservation efforts planned for the future, Mississippi State has already amassed $24 million in savings and lowered its energy consumption by 35 percent.