Power To Save: Award for Bucknell University Energy Systems

BUCKNELL UNIVERSITY — Bucknell University’s campus is about three million square feet.  Providing electricity and heat to the campus in Lewisburg is no small task. But Bucknell University recently won an award for saving energy.

“We’ve always tried to achieve those things but it’s nice to get some outside recognition of what we’ve accomplished,” Jim Knight said.

The school won an industry certification for energy efficiency called “Peer Certification.”  The award is through Green Building Council, a national agency which evaluates utility systems. Bucknell is only the second university in the country to get this honor.

Bucknell is only the second university in the country to get this honor.

“Evaluates the efficiency, the reliability, and the cost-effectiveness of your operation,” Knight said.

Bucknell University got its energy from coal until the mid-1990s. In 1998 they switched to natural gas.

Bucknell’s power plant was built in 1998. It allows the university to produce and manage its own electricity on site.

“That’s given us the ability to supply all the utilities the campus needs,” Knight said.

Jim Knight is Bucknell University’s Director of Energy and Utilities. He tells Newswatch 16 the school has saved about $1 million on energy costs over 20 years. And not only money, its reduced Bucknell’s carbon footprint.

“We’re able to produce about 70 to 75 percent efficiency compared to a conventional power plant which is about 35 percent efficient,” Knight said.

Bucknell University is using a lot less energy and getting the most out of every kilowatt.


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