University rewarded for rising to the Campus Energy Challenge

The University of Minnesota, Crookston, received a check for nearly $80,000 for results Otter Tail check 2916.jpgachieved through Otter Tail Power Company's Campus Energy Challenge. According to U of M, Crookston, Chancellor Charles H. Casey, this payment and the savings they expect to redirect to students, staff, and faculty later this year are great, but the real reward is the heightened energy-saving awareness that is developing. "When Otter Tail Power Company chose this school as its first Campus Energy Challenge participant, we knew the many opportunities for energy-efficient technology upgrades would result in savings," said Casey. "But our administration has been pleased to see how much difference operational and behavioral changes have made to our electric bills. We've also been very pleased with the efforts of our students, faculty, and staff and with the support and expertise everyone at Otter Tail Power Company has provided.  It has been a team effort."

otpOtterLogoColor.jpgOtter Tail Power Company Energy Management Representative Ken Johnson presented the check, which combines three Campus Energy Challenge payments. The two largest payments are for rebates on lighting upgrades ($33,109) and for variable-frequency drives with an automated control system ($26,518). These technologies enable the campus to reduce its electricity use by 655,300 kilowatt-hours a year. "The overall goal is a 10 percent to 15 percent reduction in electrical use, and these changes alone result in about 8.9 percent," said Johnson. "We're confident that with the ReDirect program's behavior-related savings they'll reach the 10 percent goal and may even approach 15 percent."

The third payment of $20,000 reimburses U of M, Crookston, for expenses related to the ReDirect program, another component of the Campus Energy Challenge. Developed by Eugene A. Scales & Associates, ReDirect helps schools and other large organizations incentivize their students and employees to reduce energy use by "redirecting" most of the savings back to these stakeholders.

"We've seen notable reductions in electric meter readings that date back to our facilities staff's implementation of operations changes in their work order system.  I'm optimistic that with continued dedication by these employees, and even greater student, staff, and faculty behavioral changes through the end of the academic year, we'll be able to announce achievement of the goal during the Campus Energy Challenge's April 19 tree planting celebration," said Casey.  Governor Dayton, U.S. Senator Klobuchar, and many other state and local leaders and the public are invited to join the campus for that Earth Week event.

Otter Tail Power Company, a subsidiary of Otter Tail Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select Market: OTTR), is headquartered in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. It provides electricity and energy services to more than a quarter million people in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. To learn more about Otter Tail Power Company visit www.otpco.com. To learn more about Otter Tail Corporation visit www.ottertail.com.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,450 undergraduates from more than 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

In the photo: State Legislators LeRoy Stumpf and Deb Kiel were on hand for the equipment rebate check presentation by Otter Tail Power Company to the U of M, Crookston.  Left to Right:  Minnesota State Senator LeRoy Stumpf (District 1); Minnesota State Representative Deb Kiel (District 1B); Ken Johnson, Energy Management Representative, Otter Tail Power Company; U of M, Crookston Chancellor Charles H. Casey; and Tim Norton, Director of Facilities and Operations, U of M, Crookston.

Contact: Cindy Kuismi, project communications specialist, Otter Tail Power Company, 218-739-8751 (CKuismi@otpco.com); Andrew Svec, director, communications, 218-281-8438 (asvec@umn.edu)

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