Energy Conservation Program

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Little Rock, Arkansas



Square Feet

$29.2 Million

Project Cost

$3.1 Million

Annual Energy Savings

In 2013, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UA Little Rock) embarked on a campus-wide energy conservation project to reduce annual energy costs by $5.8 million across the entire campus. The UA Little Rock campus is comprised of more than 60 buildings with a cumulative 2.9 million square feet across 250 acres.

Bernhard was engaged to formulate a strategic energy plan with the goal of reducing energy costs by 20% by 2014 and 30% by 2017. UA Little Rock and Bernhard agreed to approach the project with an integrated scope consisting of a multitude of energy cost reduction measures, including upgrading and retrofitting the building automation systems, retro-commissioning the existing buildings, expanding the district cooling system, installing a district heating system, installing heat pump chiller heaters, and installing a distributed generation system with Tier 4 generators. Construction of the 10 MW self-generation station was economically justified based on the availability of an Operational Interruptible Service rider from the local utility. The $29.2-million project was financed through a combination of general obligation bonds and Arkansas Division of Building Authority Sustainable Building Design Revolving Loan Funds (RLF). UA Little Rock was eligible to receive RLF funding with the guarantee that the project’s savings would pay back the loan fund.

Currently, UA Little Rock has realized a 42% reduction in energy consumption, which translates to a utility cost savings of $3.1 million per year (51% reduction in utility costs). The University has significantly decreased its carbon footprint and has a goal of becoming the most energy-efficient university in the United States. Since the project’s completion in 2015, the savings have exceeded the original target of $2.6 million per year to achieve an annual savings of $3.1 million. Bernhard continues to provide daily measurement and verification to aid UA Little Rock in sustaining and growing project savings.