SDSU focuses on saving energy


In the wake of steadily rising electricity costs due to campus growth, SDSU has commonly put increased emphasis on reducing electrical demand and consumption on campus.

SDSU currently purchases hydroelectric power through Western Area Power Administration. The campus electrical rate stays fixed as long as the campus power demand stays below a fixed allocation. If the amount of energy used exceeds this allocation, the additional energy must be purchased from a secondary power provider at a higher rate. The increased electrical demand incurred from 500,000 square feet of new construction and renovation projects over the past 10 years has resulted in steadily growing electricity cost. This increased cost is due to the fact that campus demand has exceeded its allotment more frequently and more power has been purchased from its secondary power provider. Electricity costs have grown from just over $1.0 million in 2006, to $1.9 million in 2010 and continue to grow each year.  With no end in campus growth in sight, campus electricity costs will continue to soar.

Since 2000, SDSU has spent over $1.4 million on projects that save energy, including installing occupancy motion sensors, installing lower wattage light fixtures and bulbs, upgrading HVAC equipment and promoting awareness of energy conservation around campus.  The campus has also received over 3 million dollars from South Dakota’s ARRA allocation to boost the energy efficiency of some of the buildings on campus. These buildings include the Central Heating Plant, Wagner Hall, Rotunda, Pugsley Center, and Briggs Library.  Responsible practices such as shutting down computers at night and turning lights off when leaving rooms are two simple things that everyone can do to help conserve our campus resources.  For more information, check out the Energy Conservation and Construction Blogs on the Facilities and Services link off of Inside State.