UNMC well on way to achieving 25-percent energy reduction by 2015

Impressive results achieved over past two years

Energy-savings efforts implemented over the past two years at the University of Nebraska Medical Center have produced impressive results: 

  • Utility costs were $1.5 million less during the first nine months of 2012, as compared to the same period in 2010;
  • Carbon dioxide emissions were 20,000 tons less during that same nine-month period; and
  • The campus no longer will have to build a $30 million utility plant to keep pace with campus growth. 

“All of these accomplishments are the result of a lot of hard work and expertise, both on the part of UNMC staff but also the utilities with whom we work,” said Ken Hansen, assistant vice chancellor of facilities at UNMC. “I’m confident that we will continue to see energy-use reductions over the next couple of years.”

Hansen was among representatives from each University of Nebraska campus on Friday who updated the Board of Regents regarding energy usage.  All campuses showed significant progress toward goals that were established in 2010, as part of a university-wide strategic energy initiative.

Two years ago, UNMC indicated that it would cut energy consumption by 25 percent, per square foot, by 2015.  Already, it has reduced its consumption by 20 percent through multiple initiatives.  A sampling of these efforts includes: 

  • Installation of improved energy systems that were funded by federal stimulus dollars;
  • Major overhauls in the UNMC Central Utility Plant that increased energy efficiency and other efforts by facilities personnel to lessen energy use around campus; and
  • Implementation of the UNMC LiveGreen initiative, which has fostered and promoted energy-efficient behavior change among employees and students on campus. 

Hansen said that the energy-savings efforts have two major impacts on campus: a new cancer center campus will use connections to existing pipes and wires, saving more than $30 million that would have been required for a new utility plant; and future facilities will be able to be operated with minimal increases in operation and maintenance costs.

Such accomplishments become even more impressive, Hansen said, when one considers that they were done in tough economic times, which placed stress on staffing and in the face of major heat waves that strained campus energy systems.

For example, Omaha’s temperature reached at least 100 degrees on nine days this past summer, compared with only two days in 2011.  Still, UNMC’s “peak energy demand” was six megawatts lower in 2012. This represents enough energy to cool 4,000 homes.

Through world-class research and patient care, UNMC generates breakthroughs that make life better for people throughout Nebraska and beyond. Its education programs train more health professionals than any other institution in the state. Learn more at unmc.edu.



Tom O'Connor
UNMC Public Relations
(402) 559-4690 (office)
(402) 650-7063 (cell)

Bill O'Neill
UNMC Public Relations
(402) 559-9152
(402) 250-4839