ST. CLOUD -- St. Cloud State University announced Monday that they have been able to decrease their energy use by 31 percent per square foot between 2009 and 2020.

The school operates 3.2 Million square feet of classrooms, labs, offices, residence halls, and athletic facilities.

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Kelly Bartlow is the Facility Planning and Space Utilization Manager at St. Cloud State. She says since 2009, they have used several strategies to reduce their energy usage.

We have implemented building automation systems and modern controls to align heating and cooling with building usage patterns. Another thing we've done is that we converted our central heating plant to use natural gas instead of fuel oil. We've been upgrading to LED lighting across campus. Additionally, we've been upgrading our plumbing to high-efficiency low-flow systems to conserve water as well.

Part of their efforts included the 2019 renovation of Eastman Hall to serve as the Center for Health and Wellness Innovation with upgrades to the building's heating and cooling system, electrical, plumbing systems, and windows.

One of the big reasons that we're doing this or why it's important to St. Cloud State is that we want to be good stewards of our resources. We want to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and we want to provide long-term storage of campus and community resources.

Their efforts are still ongoing.

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