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Program Facts

MSU’s Electric Co-Generation turbine annually contributes ~4% of campus electricity needs – has saved over ~$1.5 million in electricity costs since 1991.

MSU’s gross natural gas consumption in recent years has been lower than it was 20 years ago – while this comparison in not weather-normalized, it speaks well of our energy conservation efforts.

MSU’s gross municipal water consumption has also decreased over the past 30 years, due to improved water management practices for irrigation.
MSU is changing maintenance fleet vehicles over to fuel efficient mini-vehicles.

MSU has contracted for a range of university-specific transportation services in support of the local Streamline Transit System

Program Summary

Montana State University has always focused its Facilities resources on energy conservation and the responsible stewardship of environmental resources. Since the “energy crisis” of the 1970’s, MSU has actively explored, investigated and implemented cost-effective and environmentally-conscious campus solutions. In 2008, MSU became a signatory to the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment which is focused on reducing green house gas emissions and we are now in the process of completing a greenhouse gas inventory. MSU also collaborates with the local community by supporting Bozeman’s efforts toward meeting requirements of the US Mayor’s Climate Protection efforts. In 2007, MSU created a Campus Sustainability Advisory Council to provide a university framework to coordinate and advise sustainability efforts on a campus-wide basis.

Benefits and Obligations

  • Created the ASMSU Sustainability Committee and established the ASMSU Sustainability Center as a resource for student involvement in sustainability efforts and to develop programs such as film screenings, lecture events, educational outreach programs, and student recycling efforts.
  • Hired an ASMSU Sustainability Director funded by a modest student sustainability fee.
  • ASMSU annually collaborates with the Gallatin Earth Celebration and the northern Rockies Bioneers Conference.
  • Promotes internships and independent studies in research and academic areas.
  • Student Government helps fund the local Streamline Transit System through a student bus fee.

University Efforts

Sustainability and energy conservation concepts are integrated into all aspects of the university’s mission: academically through the agricultural, science, engineering and architecture curricula; through outreach and extension programs that reach across the state by hosting climate conferences; and, through cutting edge research programs such as the Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Project, the Hi-temperature Electrochemistry Center and zero emissions and wind energy research projects.

Facilities Efforts

  • To date MSU has invested over $3 million on energy conservation projects with $7 million appropriated for current biennium.
  • MSU Conserves energy and saves ~$100k/year by shutting down central heating plant at night during summer season.
  • MSU negotiated a 15 year power supply contract for 30% of our electricity from WAPA hydro-electric power resources in 2006 - now saving ~$250k/year.
  • MSU aggressively pursues energy conservation projects that qualify for funding through the USB program, reclaiming ~$50k/year in energy rebates from NWE.
  • Hired an energy conservation contractor to influence the campus community to change energy-use habits – costs of contract will be paid as a percentage of verifiable energy savings that the university realizes over the life of the contract.