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Updated 11:00 AM March 8, 2004



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U-M earns award for energy efficiency

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named U-M-Ann Arbor as an Energy Star Partner of the Year for its outstanding contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through leadership in energy management. U-M is the only institution of higher education to receive this year's award.

Its accomplishments were recognized at a March 2 awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. EPA is honoring U-M—a partner in the Energy Star program since 1997—for adopting smart energy practices and investments throughout its operations.

In the past six years, U-M staff have completed projects in 123 major campus buildings. These include: installation of more energy-conserving lights and equipment, tune-ups of mechanical systems, and installation of higher-efficiency motors, direct-digital control points for automated systems, and variable air volume boxes, as appropriate.

Engineers at U-M predict the University will save $9.7 million annually beginning in fiscal year 2005 when the Energy Star program will be implemented fully in all major buildings.

"Our staff has been very committed to pushing forward with hundreds of energy conservation measures that not only make good business sense, but also strengthen our environmental stewardship commitment," says Hank Baier, associate vice president for facilities and operations. "We're pleased the EPA has chosen to recognize our efforts."

William Verge, associate director of U-M's Plant Operations, and Don Lystra, senior engineer in Plant Operations' Utilities and Plant Engineering, accepted the award on behalf of the University.

The Partner of the Year Award is given to a variety of organizations to recognize their efforts to use energy efficiently in their own facilities and integrate energy efficiency into their organizational strategy. The award winners are selected from more than 7,000 organizations that participate in Energy Star, a program introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce air pollution through increased energy efficiency.

"As an Energy Star partner, the University of Michigan has successfully integrated energy performance into their business strategy and day-to-day operations," says Kathleen Hogan, director of EPA's Climate Protection Partnerships Division. "By participating in Energy Star these organizations are showing businesses worldwide that protecting the environment is good for the bottom line."

Additional information about the University's energy management efforts can be found at For more information about Energy Star, visit or call toll-free (888) STAR-YES.

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