The University of Central Florida earned $278,000 in rebates recently from Duke Energy for new energy-efficient measures implemented this year.

The rebate is one of the largest Duke Energy has issued in years.

The purchase of two water chillers for District Energy Plant IV, an under-construction water plant that will produce chilled and hot water to cool and dehumidify campus buildings, earned UCF $200,000 of the rebate because of the chillers’ high efficiency, said Curtis Wade, director of UCF Utilities & Energy Services.

The chillers will hold 4,000 tons – or 1 million gallons – of chilled water that will serve Research Building 1, when complete, and be added to an existing underground infrastructure that serves nearly 75 percent of campus buildings. Over the lifespan of District Energy Plant IV that’s being built on the northeast side of campus, the university is estimated to save $121,000 annually in operation costs and resources because of its energy-efficient design.

“This project has been developed over three years and in many phases to ensure we meet our current and future energy demands in the most efficient way possible,” said Wade. “Our goal always is to ensure that energy at UCF remains as affordable and reliable as possible.”

The remaining $78,000 of the recent rebate is from automation controls installed in Partnership I and II, Student Health Services, Mathematical Sciences and Engineering II buildings. The controls use CO2 sensors that measure when more outside air is needed to balance the CO2 levels in the buildings. Vents open when more outside air needed, and are closed when there’s enough. This reduces the demand on the equipment, which works harder to de-humidify the interior of buildings when vents are constantly open to let in outside air.

Since 2010, UCF has earned more than $1 million in rebates for energy-efficient measures.

“We have a great partnership with the University of Central Florida,” said Sharon Arroyo, director of large-account management for Duke Energy Florida. “Energy efficiency is a great sustainability measure and UCF’s efforts are outstanding. We are pleased to present them with one of the largest rebates we’ve presented in recent years.”