Eastern Oregon University improves student housing through energy upgrades


People installing energy saving devices

Eastern Oregon University (EOU), a public university in La Grande educates nearly 3,000 students and houses about 350-400 students annually. With a commitment to providing students a high-quality experience, administrators and facility staff place high importance on maintaining campus facilities, including student housing. But as with most public institutions, the cost of upgrading equipment was a barrier to improving the university’s three on-campus residence halls.

Energy Trust worked with EOU to identify affordable (and even free!) cost-saving solutions at the residence halls. Walking through the campus with an Energy Trust energy advisor helped the university discover energy-saving opportunities that facilities staff weren’t looking for previously. “We’re just so busy putting out fires and solving emergencies and problems that are right in front of our face that it’s difficult to recognize issues that aren’t as apparent on how they’re impacting the organization,” said Jeremy Jones, director of residence life and housing operations at EOU. Not only do Energy Trust’s walkthrough surveys highlight often overlooked improvements, but they also help facilities and maintenance teams assess their property’s current conditions for energy-efficient upgrades that can make a big impact on energy usage.

The walkthrough survey outlined an annual savings potential of $2,000 if the university upgraded showerheads, shower wands and faucet aerators to energy-efficient models. Energy-efficient water products use up to 40% less water compared to standard fixtures, contributing a significant reduction in EOU’s overall water consumption.

These free energy-saving products are also longer-lasting than standard equipment, alleviating maintenance time and reducing repair costs. Energy Trust’s team installed 134 energy-efficient showerheads and shower wands and 266 faucet aerators in nearly 100 student units. “That’s a pretty neat thing when you are able to not only improve the campus residence experience but also make a difference by consuming less energy,” said Jones.

To talk to an energy advisor about making upgrades at your property, call 1.877.510.2130 or email multifamily@energytrust.org.