The U. and BYU are years behind the energy conservation programs already in place here at UVU.

Weather systems throughout the premises optimize natural energy usage across campus. Randy Neilson/UVU Review

This university has been a leader in energy conservation for many years. When compared to the major universities in the state, our program is years ahead of Utah’s other universities.

We have been conscious of energy conservation for 40 years, when the school implemented geothermal wells to heat and cool the buildings around campus. The water is pumped up a well on one side of campus, is used to warm the air and then is pumped back into the aquifer on the other side of campus. No water is actually removed, tampered with or otherwise altered.

Since 2008, the University of Utah has installed two 3-kilowatt solar photovoltaic systems on their main campus. These installations are anticipated to be the first of many as the university strives for climate neutrality.

We are leading the state in energy efficiency.

The U. is not the only university behind the standard set by our own campus energy practices. With only two implementations for energy conservation, changing light bulbs from incandescent to fluorescent and adding motion sensors for lights, BYU doesn’t seem overly concerned either.

Another focus for the university is that of water consumption and waste.

Our campus receives irrigation water directly from local reservoirs that flow naturally to the university without pumping. During the winter season, the campus does not use irrigation water.

“There is no irrigation in the winter, from October to the middle of March,” said Denny Rucker, Sustainability Committee member. “We don’t need it anyway.”

“We own water shares that come out of Deer Creek and Jordanelle Reservoir and we take that water and filter it and re-pump that all over campus.”

Local reservoirs and ponds like these stream through weather-sensitive irrigation systems that monitor energy needs all over campus grounds. Randy Neilson/UVU Review

The university also has a sophisticated weather-sensitive irrigation system. Sensors that are placed around campus can detect temperature, humidity, light and wind to determine whether or not the grounds need water.

This automation helps prevent over- or under-watering around campus.

According to the U.’s sustainability program, they are hoping, by the year 2020, to achieve water neutrality and to minimize waste from grounds operations through composting.

BYU doesn’t have water consumption or waste listed in their official sustainability statement from the administration.

This shows that the U. and BYU are years behind what UVU has already put into place on campus. The only plan the U. has is to revise their purchasing policy to include water-efficient appliances and tools; BYU has yet to announce any plans regarding water consumption and waste.

Many people always consider this campus to be the lower end of the colleges in Utah, always placed behind the U. and BYU.

It is clear that our university has, in this area, set the standard for Utah’s major universities.