University Launches UTakeCharge

October 15, 2007

In an announcement at the Thompson Conference Center, The University of Texas at Austin today launched a major initiative to manage and reduce demand-side energy use on campus, entitled UTakeCharge. University faculty, staff and groups were invited to attend the program kickoff.

Overseen by UT Facilities Services, UTakeCharge is the university's most significant energy conservation program to date and is focused on Demand-side Energy Management and Conservation (DSEMC). This program will reduce energy consumption and lower ongoing energy costs through renovations and replacement of inefficient or under-performing equipment. Estimated annual cost avoidance resulting from the initial renovation projects is expected to exceed $2 million.

The kickoff featured opening remarks from Associate Director of Facilities Maintenance William Lucas, after which Dr. Patricia Clubb, Vice President for Employee and Campus Services, discussed how the DSEMC initiative supports the university's commitment to financial and environmental stewardship. Facilities Services Interim Director Michael A. Miller followed with an overview of the importance of managing demand-side energy use as well as energy generation to control costs and consumption.

Alfred (Al) Lewandowski, manager of DSEMC for Facilities Services, explained the program and its projects, and introduced the multi-department teams involved. He also outlined the plan for communicating with the campus community, including the Web site, utexas.edu/UTakeCharge.

Student Government Vice President Nicole Trinh, College of Natural Sciences, offered to support UTakeCharge by communicating its importance to the student body. A question and answer session concluded the event.