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Saving Water and Energy At The University Of Delaware

NEWARK, Del. -- Faced with a five-year state-wide drought as well as sky-rocketing utility costs, the University of Delaware has taken a proactive stance in energy conservation.

With 55 new retrofitted laundry rooms, the University is spearheading a conservation effort which puts them in a position to save 3.5 million gallons of water per year and 769,000 kilowatts of electricity per year - enough energy to light every household in Newark for three weeks.

The savings has been attributed to the introduction of 215 Maytag® Commercial Neptune® high-efficiency washers and 238 Neptune® high-efficiency dryers in the campus laundries.

“The twofold possibility of reducing the electricity loads in the dorms plus the water savings was very attractive,” said Bob Stozek, associate VP for facilities at the Newark, DE campus.

Prior to the revamping of their laundries, the University averaged approximately 18,000 gallons of water per day for laundry purposes. Their new machines will cut usage to roughly 8,000 gallons per day and a $71,000 savings in utility costs has been calculated.

“The city of Newark is putting in a new reservoir, a multi-million dollar project, and to pay for it they are raising our water rates,” said Stozek. “The rates we were paying went up 80 percent and that was a brutal incentive to cut our water usage.”

The new machines are not cheap. In fact, the Neptune line costs almost twice as much as the Maytag machinery it replaced, according to John Gregory president of Caldwell & Gregory, the distributor who oversaw the installation. However, current and future savings in water and utility costs will more than make up for the expense, he added.

“The biggest cost in a laundry is the cost to heat water so if you use less water then you save right there,” said Leo Yokiel, Maytag, director of marketing. “Standard top load washing machines use 32 gallons of water per load whereas Maytag’s front load Neptune uses 15 gallons of water per load.” And, because the new machines use half the water but have 32 percent greater capacity, customers do fewer loads, he added.

Prior to the installation, the campus used over 6.4 million gallons of water per year for laundry, according to Caldwell & Gregory. The new washers only use 2.9 million gallons for the same amount of laundry. On a daily basis those figures are 18,000 gallons of water per day prior to the installation versus just 8,000 gallons a day afterwards. Further savings is attributed to higher extract speeds, 800-1000 rpms which require less drying time.

Meanwhile at the university, which was founded in 1743 as a small private academy and is today a major university with over 19,000 undergrad and graduate students, conservation efforts continue.

Other areas of conservation which have also added to their overall savings include re-lamping over 30 buildings to low wattage lights and installing more efficient chillers for air conditioners.

“We’ve done the easy stuff and are now looking at projects that are technically more challenging,” said Stozek. He points to future plans that include looking at cogeneration -- using the boiler steam to run a generator to run air conditioning equipment.

Quick Rinse - News From Around The World

G&K Fined By U.S. Attorney’s Office

MINNETONKA, Minn. — G&K Services, Inc., was recently fined $450,000 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, G&K discharged too much oil and grease into wastewater at one of their facilities. G&K is headquartered in Minnesota and the facility that was fined is located in Iowa.