Energy Use Information

Energy Costs:

University wide fiscal year 2011-2012 utility cost projections:

  • Natural gas and fuel oil—$3,293,000
  • Electricity—$3,027,000
  • Water & sewage—$1,188,000
  • Cold Weather Allowance—$329,000
  • Total $7,837,000

Main campus fiscal year 2011-2012 unit cost projections:

  • Natural gas & fuel oil—$8.94 per million btu
  • Steam—$12.42 per thousand pounds
  • Electricity—$0.066 per kilowatt hour
  • Water & Sewage—$9.56 per 100 cubic feet

Main campus projected utility use is equivalent to:

  • 2.4 million gallons of oil
  • 137 vehicles driving 24/7 that get 20 miles per gallon
  • Electricity used in 4,000 average homes
  • 44,000 – 100 watt light bulbs burning 24/7

Top Five Energy & Water Users on Campus:

  • Wadsworth Hall—$796,000 per year
  • Chem-Sci—$690,000 per year
  • Dow—$676,000 per year
  • M&M—$571,000 per year
  • SDC—$466,000 per year


For more information on energy management at Michigan Tech, contact Dave Taivalkoski at 906-487-2706.

Test Your Energy IQ

Test Your Energy IQ


What size of a compact fluorescent lamp gives as much light as a 100 watt incandescent lamp?

Usually a 26 watt CFL is equivalent.


What sources of fuel for our boilers would be the cheapest?

Biomass is about $4.70 per million btu input, natural gas is about $8.00, fuel oil is $18 and electricity is $21.  However, it takes a $10 million investment to be able to utilize biomass.


What sources of electricity would be the cheapest to Michigan Tech?

Biomass cogenerated electricity would be about 2 cents per kwh compared to 7 cents for utility supplied power.  However it takes a $5 million capital investment to be able to generate 2 cents power on top of the $10 million needed to switch the boilers to biomass.


Do wind turbines have any promise in this area?

Possibly, we will know better once the Green Campus Enterprise has completed gathering the data from two local test sites.


How much energy can I save by walking up one floor rather than taking the elevator?

It’s not as much as we might guess.  The figures work out to about 2/10’s of one cent per trip per floor.


If we converted all of the energy used by Michigan Tech into gallons of oil, how much would that be per year if we divided it by 8,000 people?

650 gallons per year each.


If we took all of Michigan Tech’s electricity used in a year, how many 2 megawatt wind turbines would be needed to supply that much assuming that they averaged 20% of their output?

It would take 10 or 11 of these giant wind turbines to supply this much power.  These are the ones with the hub height at about 300 feet off the ground with a rotor diameter of 300 feet.  In other words the blades are up 450 feet off the ground when on the top, and 150 feet off the ground when on the bottom of the rotation.


What kind of lamps and ballasts are we currently using in our offices, labs and classrooms?

In 2006, almost all of the general lighting was changed to long life T-8 lamps and programmed start electronic ballasts.


How does our current lighting system compare to LED’s that we hear so much about?

Our T-8 lamps running on programmed start ballasts are rated at 30,000 hours of life with a four hour cycle and yielding about 92 lumens per watt at the lamp.  The lamp system that we have chosen will lose about 7% of its light output over its rated life.  LED’s are generally rated at 50,000 hours but lose 30% of their light output at that point.  LED’s are very expensive but should come down in price as the technology advances.  At the moment they are best suited for special applications where access is a problem but loss of some light output is not. LED’s are listed at 105 lumens per watt for commercially available products but CREE recently announced that they have achieved 231 lumens per watt in the lab.  LED’s are certainly worth keeping an eye on, especially if they can solve the light depreciation problem.


What other kinds of light sources do we use on campus?

We have tried to replace most of the few remaining incandescent lamps running at 17 lumens per watt with compact fluorescents that yield 62 lumens per watt.  Some parking lots use metal halide lamps which give 70 lumens per watt.  Most of our outdoor lighting is high pressure sodium which runs at 90 lumens per watt.