University of Texas saves money through energy efficiency With almost 55,000 students, the University of Texas at Austin is bigger than many American cities. It is also a massive consumer of energy. Until recently, the basketball arena wasted money on energy: its director changed that.

The basketball arena, the Frank Erwin Center, used to cost the university $3,500 a day in energy costs. Its director, John Graham, performed an audit and horrified by the results, instituted some policies to decrease energy consumption. That same day, Graham asked employees to turn off unnecessary lights and computers – the bill plummeted $1,000.

Galvanized, Graham committed to lowering energy costs. According to the Texas Tribune, between the years of 2006-2007 and 2008-2009, electricity use fell by 15.4 percent, with chilled water decreasing by 12 percent. He also reduced the time the university spends to cool or heat the arena before a game, from about eight to ten hours to four to six. Graham stresses that the key to cutting energy use and expenditures is information. "If you can't monitor it, there's no way to manage it."

Through his cost saving measures, Graham saved the university money and reduced its environmental footprint. Everything is bigger in Texas – energy savings, apparently, included.
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