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East Central University accepted a $297,437 incentive check from OG&E for its participation in the OG&E Schools and Government Efficiency (SAGE) Program.

The SAGE program helps organizations save energy and money by providing no-cost facility improvement recommendations, benchmarking services, energy master planning and financial incentives based on energy savings.

ECU retrofitted the entire campus with highly efficient LED lighting, which will save nearly 2 million kilowatt-hours of energy annually. According to the U.S. EPA, this is equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions of 156,807 gallons of gasoline.

“The OG&E SAGE program has provided us with the resources to make much-needed energy efficiency upgrades,” said Jessica Boles, vice president for administration and finance. “The energy saving improvements alone will save ECU approximately $158,000 annually in energy costs, not to mention the nearly $300,000 incentive check. We’re proud to serve as an energy-efficient role model in the community.”

“The SAGE program, like others in our energy efficiency program portfolio, is designed to increase energy efficiency and cost savings for our customers,” said Kathleen O’Shea, OG&E spokeswoman. “We’re glad ECU has taken advantage of the program’s benefits and incentives.”

OG&E energy efficiency programs provide solutions to residential customers, commercial businesses and schools and governmental organizations to help them achieve greater energy efficiency. Since 2010 OG&E has paid approximately $20 million in rebates to commercial and industrial customers across both Arkansas and Oklahoma service territories.

“We’re excited that our energy-saving and cost-cutting efforts are working well, especially in a time when resources for higher education are at a struggle,” said ECU President John R. Hargrave. “We’re pleased that OG&E has developed an incentive program that benefits not only the university financially, but in an environmental capacity.”


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