Topics: Sustainability/Environment, Administrative

September 8, 2010

Ball State University is one of 50 Hoosier small businesses, health care facilities, institutions of higher education and nonprofit agencies receiving an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) from the U.S. Department of Energy.

The university will receive a $60,000 grant as part of the $2.85 million in funding awarded to grantees for energy-efficiency upgrades to existing structures. A total of 105 applications were received in the competitive application process, with a total request made of $5.97 million. Applicants could seek up to $100,000 in funding for their projects, with a 50-percent local match.

The university will use the grant money to replace two existing computer room air conditioners with three new in-row computer rack coolers in the Robert Bell Building's main computer room. The new coolers will use chilled water, which is more efficient than the existing air conditioners. 

The project will reduce the electrical demand of the building and the campus. It also will reduce electrical demand to a greater extent when the university converts to the new geothermal system. The existing air conditioners will remain available for backup use, which will improve reliability.

"Sometimes the cost of energy efficiency can seem too much for smaller companies, health care facilities, colleges, and universities or nonprofit agencies already struggling in these economic times," said Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman.  "These grants can be a bridge from short term financial issues to important long term energy savings." 

Skillman presided over an awards ceremony for the grantees on July 1 at the Indiana Statehouse. The EECBG program is funded through the U.S. Department of Energy and administered in Indiana by the Indiana Office of Energy Development.

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By Chanel Richards