Lombardo C.SteuerOn November 9, Millersville University hosted local legislators for a “hard hat” tour of the Lombardo Welcome Center, the University’s new net-zero energy building. Opening in January 2018, the 13,600-square foot highly energy-efficient facility will generate its own electricity from both solar panels and geothermal heat pumps.

“Net zero energy buildings like the Lombardo Welcome Center reimagine what’s possible with buildings, thinking of them as not only places where we live, work and learn, but also as energy generators,” said Millersville University’s Sustainability Manager, Chris Steuer. “This tour gave us a chance to give participants an early look at the technologies that make that possible.”

Lombardo Nov. 17Millersville University partnered with Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance (KEEA) to discuss the ways that large institutions can save money with energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. After a short presentation, attendees toured the construction site to take an up-close look at the energy efficient attributes of the building’s design and the incorporation of renewable energy technology.

The Lombardo Welcome Center will be 60 percent more energy efficient than any other building on Millersville’s campus, which will drive down costs for the school. Money saved from energy bills will be reinvested into student services, programs and facilities.

The construction of the new facility is also part of a broader university goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2040.

“It is exciting to see universities like Millersville make a commitment to our planet’s future by taking a leading role in creating low energy and low impact buildings on their campus,” said Shannon Kaplan – the project’s High Performance Building Specialist from AKF Group / In Posse. “Net Zero Energy buildings are the way of the future and it takes pioneering projects like the Lombardo Welcome Center to help demonstrate that buildings can power themselves with carbon free, local energy.”

During the presentation and tour, attendees learned how clean energy not only saves organizations money, but also drives economic growth throughout the state. A recent report from KEEA and Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) found nearly 70,000 clean energy jobs spread throughout the Commonwealth. Among the counties, Lancaster ranked in the top ten with over 3,000 people working in energy efficiency and renewable energy jobs.

“It takes local workers to manage energy, install equipment, complete audits, build more efficient structures,” said Julian Boggs, Policy Director at Keystone Energy Efficiency Alliance. “Policies that encourage investment into energy efficiency are driving investment into a local workforce that can’t be outsourced.”

“PPL congratulates Millersville University. This is a great example of an energy efficient building and how PPL’s energy efficiency program rebates can help customers save energy and money,” said Pete Cleff, Manager of Energy Efficiency Programs at PPL Electric Utilities.

The tour was attended by legislators who have constituents either enrolled in or employed by Millersville University, including state Representative Dave Zimmerman and County Commissioner Dennis Stuckey as well as staff for Representatives Bryan Cutler, Michael Sturla, Stan Saylor and State Senator Scott Martin.

 

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